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The following appeared October 2, 2006 in the

"Danger! Warning! Robots invade Boca Raton".
Collector has TV, movie cyber-stars in his garage.
By Dale M. King
Boca Raton News Staff Writer

P
ublished October 2, 2006

   Rick Newman of Boca Raton has a couple of cinematic "Stars" in his garage. One is a really tall guy named "Robby the Robot", who made his debut in the 1956 sci-fi classic "Forbidden Planet".

   Next to him is the "B9" - "Blinky" robot whose cries of "Alert, alert", and "Danger Will Robinson" were heard weekly in the 1960's on the TV show, "Lost in Space".

   "No one ever called him "Blinky", Newman told the Boca Raton News as he looked at the robots in their local niche. "He was known as the "B9 Environmental Robot".

   Newman collects space artifacts, scientific anomalies and other high-tech gadgets. He has loaned them to museums and science centers locally and around the nation. And he is preparing to deliver the robotic pair to the South Florida Science Museum for an exhibition that begins in December.

   The sci-fi guy admits the robots are not the original ones used on TV and in the movies. They were created from the same materials, the same blueprints and the same molds as the originals. Add to that the fact that Fred Barton, the man who worked on the originals also put these guys together.

   Speaking of original, for the "B9" robot, Newman got hold of TV announcer Dick Tufeld, who provided the voice of the robot for both the "Lost in Space" TV show and movie. "I wrote a script for him", said Newman as he activated the robot. As lights flashed, out came the voice that is still familiar to fans of the 40 year old TV show.

   Not only that, the day the exhibit opens at the Science Museum in West Palm Beach, Bob May is scheduled to attend. May was the guy inside the robot on the TV show. He will fly in for the opening (from California). May, a close friend of comedian Jerry Lewis and former vaudevillian, is looking forward to meeting up with his former alter ego.

   That doesn't mean all the attention will be on the B9 guy. Robby has come to town to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1956 film that Starred Walter Pidgeon, a dark-haired Leslie Nielson and an up-and-coming actress Anne Francis.

   Newman, whose High-Tech Productions firm does high-speed video and DVD duplication and converts vide formats for tapes from other countries, has staged a dialogue for the two 'bots so the audience can listen to them talking to each other.

   The robots should feel right at home right now. Newman's house is like a science center. Inside are actual space suits, space suit gloves, space shuttle tiles and dozens of mission patches with the crews name sewn in.

   He also owns the (world's) first electric car allowed on roads in the United States, and also has a newer (2006) model. 


   For more information about Newman’s Robot Collection, visit www.HighTechScience.org

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