Robinson was portrayed by Keith Carradine.
In the early 2140s Robinson was a test pilot in the NX program, alongside fellow officer Jonathan Archer. Selected to test the first warp two engine, he took the NX-Alpha out on a flight. He became the first human in history to achieve warp 2, and reached 2.2 before an instability caused the warp engine to explode. He was able to eject in an escape pod and was soon rescued.
Afterwards the Vulcans and Starfleet decided to suspend the NX program. At the 602 Club Robinson expressed his belief that the engine had been poorly designed to Lieutenant Charles Tucker and Commander Archer. As Archer's father had designed the engine Archer took that rather personally, and the two men got into a dust up before Tucker and others intervened.
The following day Robinson apologized to Archer, saying he was out of line. For his part Archer had come to believe that there might have actually been a design defect, and that Tucker could compensate for the defect. The three men conspired to take the NX-Beta out on an unauthorized test flight. With Tucker's assistance Archer and Robinson were able to safely get the NX-Beta flying at warp 2.5. Both men were grounded for three months by Admiral Maxwell Forrest, however the test convinced Starfleet to resume working on the NX program.
By 2150 Robinson and Archer had both achieved the rank of Captain. Both men were in line for command of the new Enterprise (NX-01). Admiral Forrest ultimately decided to give command of the Enterprise to Archer. Soon afterwards, the two men met at the 602 Club for drinks. Robinson congratulated Archer on being named Captain of the Enterprise, and expressed his hope that he would be named the Captain of the next NX class ship, the as yet unnamed Columbia. This would be the last time the two men would see each other as Robinson left the next day for survival training in the Australian outback.
In 2153 Robinson died due to an accident while climbing Denali in Alaska. Notified of Robinson's death, Archer named a recently discovered dark matter nebula the Robinson Nebula at the suggestion of Commander T'Pol. Starfleet would later honor Robinson by naming a Daedalus class starship after him.