Sci-fi movie robot all stars, on display at Alien

We come in peace, but won't validate parking. Alien Technology shows off replica robots that starred in movies from the 1950s.

Robby is the happier one of the two. Michael Kanellos/CNET News.com

MORGAN HILL, Calif.--What do you do if your company has raised $291 million in venture funds and you're still waiting for your market to take off?

You buy replica robots that starred in movies from the 1950s.

At least that's what Alien Technology, based here, did. The company's previous CEO bought these two gems, which sit in the headquarters lobby. (The company is currently headed up by Fujitsu and Apple alum George Everhart.)

Ringo was underrated, says Gort. Michael Kanellos/CNET News.com

The roundish one, that looks like Bib the Michelin Man wearing a hat that pipes beer from two cans into your mouth, is Robby the Robot. He had a supporting role in Forbidden Planet, loosely based on Shakespeare's The Tempest. Later, he became a cult figure, landed a few more acting gigs, and settled down into the autograph circuit before being replicated. You can turn him on and he goes through a light show of sorts.

The smooth one, meanwhile, is Gort. In The Day the Earth Stood Still, he came down to our planet to incinerate people because we couldn't live in peace. In the '70s, he appeared on an album cover with Ringo Starr. The 1970s-- it was a turbulent time in America.

 

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