From my earliest
memories I was crazy about Lost in Space. From as early as 6 years
old I would make little models of the Jupiter 2, Chariot and the
other neat props on the show. Not many of my pictures and little
models survived the years, but a few things have.
As a child, in my house it was a tradition to decorate our own
birthday cakes. On my 9th birthday, my favorite thing in the whole
world could be the only thing to adorn my cake.
commemorate the 30th anniversary of that picture and to celebrate
my new hobby, my wife decided to make me another B9 robot cake
for my birthday this year. She really got into this little project
and spent several weeks planning what to use for each detail.
(I helped a little) The newer picture was taken in the very same
spot the old picture was taken.
I don't recall my earliest thoughts of building my own B9 robot,
but when I was about 12 or 13 years old, I decided to try. This
is a picture of the arm and claw I made at that time. The arm
is made out of leftover dryer hose and the claw was made out of
wood and actually opened and closed from the inside with a scissor
like design. I was discouraged by the daunting challenge of the
other seemingly impossible to make parts, and that is as far as
I got. Until now that is, because I discovered the B9 Robot Builders
Here I am modeling this old relic at FrightVision 2000. The scale
is a little off, but it sure seemed right when I was 13.
One of the first parts I decided to make was the radar sensors
and sensor holders. The little holders intrigued me because I
had not seen any pictures that showed anyone had attempted these
before. A challenge! The sensors are made from a one quart paint
can, and the holders from plumbers epoxy putty. These are pictures
of the sensors.
While I was working on these, FrightVision 2000 was approaching
and there was a lot of talk about the project to build Bob May
his very own robot. I saw that sensors were still needed and I
decided to donate my first ones to the cause. I thought it might
be nice to present them to Bob right at FrightVision, and with
Dewey's encouragement, I did. Bob was very touched by the gesture.
The following are some pictures of the vents I recently made,
as well as the acrylic bending forms and assembly jigs. I wanted
to make these very authentic, and I carefully researched and diagramed
the proper spacing and layout. It became obvious immediately that
the front vent (covering the programming panel) had wider spacing
than the side vents and this made it necessary to create a separate
assembly jig. The original front vent had eight ribs, but I built
my jig to accommodate an extra rib in case I liked that better.
Inspired by the unique method that Tim Keavin used to create his
microphone, I made my mic using the same parts. Basically it is
constructed from a round chrome cabinet knob from Home Depot and
an aluminum tube for the handle. I did tweak the shape a little
by turning it on my drill press. I stuck a real mic head inside
before gluing the screen in place so if I'm so inclined, I'll
make it a real working mic someday. A B9 PA system?
to trivia question: "Houston, we have a problem"