Robert Kinoshita, Designer of ‘Lost in Space’ Robot, Dies at 100

Robert Kinoshita

Film and television production designer and art director Robert Kinoshita, best known for designing the robot from the 1960s cult hit sci-fi series “Lost in Space” and its ancestor, Robby the Robot from the film “Forbidden Planet,” died Dec. 9 at age 100.

The robot from “Lost in Space” was famous for declaring, in a mechanical but definitely somewhat panicked tone, “Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!”

Kinoshita worked on his first film in 1937, “100 Men and a Girl,” but his film career was temporarily derailed when he and his wife were forced into a Japanese internment camp in Arizona during World War II.

He eventually returned to Hollywood to work on the 1956 sci-fi classic “Forbidden Planet” as a robot builder, including work on the film’s Robby the Robot.

Kinoshita continued to work in film and television as an art director through the 1980s, and in 2004 he was honored with a career retrospective by Hollywood Heritage; he was also inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame by the Carnegie-Mellon Institute.

Kinoshita was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the USC School of Architecture.

He is survived by his daughter, Pat Aoki.

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  1. Joann K says:

    I didn’t know his name, butI loved those robots. Robbie was my favorite part of that program *takes off hat*
    Those whirly tops are *magnificient*!

  2. Phil Merkel says:

    Dear Ms Aoki,
    Your father’s work filled my childhood with wonder and joy. His wonderful designs and work was something that touched many lives and even though we never met, he made my world a fun and wonderful place. He will be remembered by many.

  3. Doc Woolley says:

    Thank you for your service and wonderfull contributions to our industry. Rest knowing your work will always be remembered with good heart.

  4. Doc Woolley says:

    Thank you for your se

  5. frederick seaton says:

    i think robby the robot was more of a important creation to focus on for numerous reasons instead of the lesser lost in space robot in profiling his legacy

  6. What an interesting man, and a gift to us sci-fi geeks out there. It is terrible that a guy who was born in Los Angeles had to spend the war in an internment camp in Arizona, solely based on what he looked like. Somehow, how remained unbroken, and was able to have a lucrative career, and live productively to 100. I wish I had his strength, fortitude, and talent. RIP. Glenn in the Bronx, NY.

  7. Actually the Robot never said, “Danger, Danger, Will Robinson.” :-)

  8. Atomic Fury says:

    Thank you Mr. Kinoshita for your work. May you rest in peace.

  9. Ken says:

    With all due respect to June Lockhart, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright et al, Robot from “Lost In Space” was always the most interesting character in the cast, and always had the best lines. Same holds true with Robbie The Robot from “Forbidden Planet”. Kinoshita’s work lives on in the hearts of all sci-fi-loving Boomers. RIP Sir.

  10. Lisa Alekna says:

    Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

  11. Norman Stanley says:

    R.I.P Robert Kinoshita your Robot from Lost In Space is Immortal

  12. M. F. Sibley says:

    These robots were and always will be classics. What Baby Boomer doesn’t remember them? Thank you Mr. Kinoshita for introducing them to us and making them a permanent part of our movie going experience and our lives.

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