Top 5 Robot Servants of the 80’s
Steve the Butler
Released by Playtime in 1986, Steve was not as handy around the house as one would have hoped. He was basically a remote control car with a robot shell. He could bring you a cold drink but only if you placed it in his spring-loaded hands, sat down within range of the remote control and then drove him to you.
Dustbot is the forefather of today’s robotic vacuum cleaners like the iRobot Roomba and the Dyson 360. Released in 1985 by Tomy who produced a ton of toy robots in the 80’s. Dustbot featured large red flashing eyes and tiny arms holding a broom and dustpan that made a sweeping motion as it moved. The little sucker could actually vacuum up little pieces of paper and crumbs from hardwood floors or other hard surfaces. It even had edge detection technology to stop the retro vacuuming robot from falling off a table or desk its owner tasked it to clean.
Inspired by the B9 robot from the 1960’s era TV show “Lost in Space”, the PS-B9 was not nearly as useful as its inspirational forebear. Made by Toshiba the only function the PS-B9 had was as a pencil sharpener. Enough said.
Yet another robotic household helper made by Tomy. As the name would suggest, Mr. Time kept time with the clock on top of his head. He could also wake his owner up at a specified time they programmed into him…in other words, Mr. Time was an alarm clock. The sleeping robot’s head would nod as he dreamt of world domination, then when it was time for his appointed duty, Mr. Time’s eyes would open, an alarm would sound and his arms would flail around.
Produced by Ideal in 1984, this was the ultimate in toy robot technology at the time. Maxx could bring you an ice cold soda, play a computer game with you, wake you up in the morning (sorry Mr. Time), respond to voice commands, deliver messages with his claw hand and he even had a flashlight! This robot dynamo could acquire more skills with the purchase of expansion packs. Many of you may not remember Maxx, that’s because only 5,000 were made due to the huge price tag of $349,99 which in today’s money translates to around $800.