Launched from Hickam Field in Hawaii, XR-1000 (AKA the Robot) is an experimental Air Force drone sent on a radiation detection flight on its way to Vandenburgh Air Force Base in California. After pending engine trouble, it ejected from a plane by parachute over the island. Although its power source is unidentified, it weighed about 1000 pounds (1/2 ton) and was programmed for multiple jobs, including data retrieval, computation and physical labor. Equipped with radar, sonar and automatic pilot, it tended to emit smoke when it became over-heated and initially only repeated what others told it until the Professor altered its commands. The only job it couldn't perform was swim as the limited speed and maneuverability couldn't keep it afloat. It was water resistant; its electrical parts apparently protected from saltwater. He was recovered by Gilligan, who made him into a friend while the Professor saw huge potential in seeing the robot as help to get everyone rescued. However, Ginger, Mr. Howell and the Skipper, who once called him a tin fugitive from "The Wizard Of Oz," used him as cheap manual labor. Ginger even tried seducing him to get her rescued. Eventually, after several experiments, the Professor realized their best choice was to have the robot walk the sea floor to Hawaii to deliver their message. Unfortunately, Gilligan's rabbit foot got stuck in the robot and completely ruined the recording that the Air Force had no hope of retrieving it.
- Actor Bob d'Arcy who played the robot also guest starred on a episode of "Dusty's Trail" (Episode: "Then There Were Seven") which starred Bob Denver.
- A robot washing onto the island was also the premise of an episode of the 1974 animated series The New Adventures of Gilligan. No mention of the XR-1000 robot was made in the cartoon; in fact, the castaways act as if they had never seen a mechanical man before, and the whole thing is treated as an allegory for racial prejudice.