Thursday, March 26, 2015

My Love Affair with Robots


The very first robot I remember seeing was at Lit Brothers’ Department Store during the Christmas holiday around the year 1950. I was about four years old and Jane was almost three. My parents, the famous Fred and Lucy, had taken my sister and I to see Santa. We stood in a long line of parents and children that moved at snail speed around the different departments of the store, including the toy section.
Finally, it was my family's turn to enter the inner sanctum that held the red throne and good ole Santa. Right before we walked through the door, my gaze fell upon a very strange toy nestled in with the various sizes of baby dolls and teddy bears. It was a metal man. It had an antenna sticking out of the top of its head.
"I want that," I said to Fred. He was tugging me towards the man with the white beard, but I dug my heels into the rug and pointed at the table. "I want that," I repeated.
"Ask Santa," Fred said.
I did ask Santa for the metal man, but that Christmas morning, metal man was a no show. Fortunately, one of my cousins received a robot for his birthday that summer and I was allowed to play with it. It was a great toy, but it couldn't fly. Anthony and I figured this out after we dropped it from the second story window. Oops!


The year was 1956. I was taking my sister Jane and brother Michael to the  creature double feature matinee at our neighborhood theatre. The youngest, Lucy, was too little to tag along. My siblings and I had boloney sandwiches in the brown paper bags that we carried. After buying our popcorn for the food fight, we settled into our seats to watch Forbidden Planet.


As soon as Robby the Robot came onto scene, my love affair with robots began in earnest. This robot could move and talk and fight bad people. I wanted one and so did my brother Michael, but Christmas was months away. What could we do in the meantime?
Fred had loads of cardboard boxes from the stock he bought every week for our grocery store. I'll have to admit, we kids were quite inventive. We pilfered a few rolls of aluminum foil from the stock room to cover the boxes. Wire hangers were used as our robot's antenna. Knobs were whisked away from all the bedroom furniture to make great control buttons, that is, until  mom made us put them back.
On Christmas morning, Michael got his robot, which I'm pretty sure was a duplicate of Robby, but all I got were more stupid baby dolls. My mother could not understand my fascination with robots.
Robots have become a  welcomed staple in many a science fiction film and I have loved every one of them, even the scary ones like Hector from Saturn 3.


I still love robots. The world of robotics is here and it's amazing what they can do now. We have Nano robots, space robots, helper robots. Check out this site for more:  and

We've come a long way since Robby and that's the way it should be. Robots can be used in dangerous situations, helping to keep people from harm. Can robots take over the world; take over us? I doubt it, but if we don't stop trying to blow up the planet, they might have to.


I've published my first book in an apocalyptic series called Roof Oasis. I've included a robot as part of the story. Her name is Patty. She starts out as a child's companion in book one. In book two, Saving Solanda, which will come out this summer, Patty is evolving; becoming self aware.


She's quite demanding and I have no idea what trouble she'll get into by the time book three and four are finished.


  1. I loved Patty in Roof Oasis. I am thrilled to hear she is returning in Book 2!

    1. Thank you, Jessica. You're going to love her in this second book

  2. My first "robot" was a talking viewmaster. I was terrified of it, I hated that it talked. I remember I put it in my closet and left it there. That toy looks like a robot with eyes and its speaker mouth, I blame it for my dislike of robots to this day. Great post!

    1. Thank you, Loretta. You should write about that talking viewmaster. I wonder if other children were also frightened of it.