Updated: March 29, 2021
BOB KINOSHITA PHOTO GALLERY #01
Kinoshita is best known as the designer of three of the most famous robots in science fiction:
Tobor from the 1954 film Tobor the Great as well as the 1957 television pilot Here Comes Tobor;
Robby the Robot from the films Forbidden Planet in 1956 and The Invisible Boy in 1957; and "B9
Environmental Control" robot from the 1960s TV series Lost in Space, who was called "Robot".
Created at a cost of anywhere between $125,000 and $1,000,000 — depending on which source is
quoted — and measuring around 7 feet tall, Robby the Robot was the result of the efforts of a
number of individuals, although the final design as it appeared in Forbidden Planet is usually
attributed to Kinoshita, who was head draftsman of the art department, and who produced the
working drawings and blueprints for Robby's construction under the supervision of art
director A. Arnold "Buddy" Gillespie at MGM.
Around April 1965, Irwin Allen hired Kinoshita as the art director for the Lost in Space series.
Of the many tasks to befall Kinoshita, two of them were to come up with a robot (which he
nicknamed "Blinky") and to redesign the pilot film's Gemini XII space ship into what would become
the Jupiter-2. This robot never had a real name—only the model number "B9." In the show he was
referred to as "the robot" or called by the generic name, "Robot." He was brought to life by the
combination of actor Bob May and voice actor Dick Tufeld.
Two of Kinoshita's famous robots appeared faceplate-to-faceplate in the Lost in Space episodes
"War of the Robots" and "Condemned of Space", where Robby the Robot appeared as a guest robotoid
and robot, respectively. Among his credits are art direction on four other well-known TV shows:
Highway Patrol (1955–1959), Bat Materson (1960–1961), Hawaii Five-O (1970–1971), and Kojak
(1973–1974). Kinoshita also contributed production design to several features including The Phantom
Planet (1961). The B9 robot fan club provided photos of Kinoshita on his 94th birthday as well as
an interview. He turned 100 in February 2014 and died in December 2014.