While coming up with Robbie back in the 50's, he was among five designers slated to work on possible robot designs for the pending movie...and between them had sketched a couple thousand drawings...Out of sheer frustration with working on all the 2D designs, he decided to make a small model, of his vision of the robot, around 8 or 9 inches tall, built of wood and plastic...upon completion, he showed it to the art director for the movie, whom grabbed it from his hands and ran with it into the producer's office...the AD came back just as exuberant 10 minutes later and told him "to draw it up!"...Kinoshita credits that series of events to the birth of Robbie..
Prior to that, lIke many Japanese-Americans, Bob and his wife Lillian spent time in an internment camp in Arizona during WWII...but luckily were released while the war was still going on...At that time, he learned industrial design and plastic fabrication where he designed washing machines for the military...I can see how his early industrial design influences were incorporated into later designs for the movies he worked on, especially the robots and space ships...He has said in interviews that one of his goals in designing the iconic robots was to camouflage the fact that a person would be inside...what better way to camouflage a person inside than to use industrial looking parts, like accordion style dryer vents (retractable arms for Robbie and B9), as well as general industrial looking fabrication using metal, plastic and rubber!
Bob's classic, cool, and timeless designs have inspired many children to dream outside of this ordinary life on planet earth. Those dreams include wild space adventures and exploration, encounters with alien beings and the possibilities of combining computers and working mechanisms and devices to create robots (robotic humans) that are programmed to think, reason, and interact with "us" humans .. I'm one of those many inspired by his creations and proud of it...
Alhough Bob is no longer here, his designs have already stood the test of time for more than half a century.. and will likely inspire many more in the future, probably decades, and more likely centuries, in the future!