By connecting loudspeakers in a sheet-metal “man” to a radio receiver, a musical robot has been produced as an advertising stunt for a New York store. The metal figure, made of stovepipes, galvanized-iron cans and funnels, is installed on the roof. Wires from the loudspeakers located in the hollow arms of the robot are connected to the radio set in the store beneath, enabling the operator of the radio to make the man on the roof sing, deliver a lecture or perhaps tell a bedtime story to passersby on the street.

“Radio Man” WALKS, TALKS,AND YODELS (Apr, 1939)


TOWERING seven feet high, a strange “radio man” has just been completed after ten years of arduous work by August Huber, a Swiss engineer. Beneath its jointed steel body, the gigantic mechanical man is a maze of automatic switches, relays, and other controls. Microphones within the automaton’s’ ears pick up spoken commands and carry them to an intricate system of twenty electric motors that make the fantastic creature walk, talk, sing, or yodel at the will of its master. Power for these various activities is supplied by batteries concealed in the ponderous legs. When this modern monster talks through the loudspeaker installed in its chest, its lips move in time with its speech. An ultra-short-wave receiver installed in its torso enables the “radio man” to follow orders transmitted to it by radio from remote points.




Electronic robots, in one form or another, are influencing our daily lives . . . are we due for an “electronic revolution”?

THE AGE OF SCIENCE has made the word “robot” the focus of popular fears and hopes. The hope is that machines with minds, machines that can talk, think, and work like men, will give everyone a life of leisure. The fear is that robots will replace mankind, that they might run amuck and destroy their masters, that the robots will get us if we don’t watch out. What was conceived as a work-saving machine has become the popular bogeyman of the age of science.

The robot nightmare hasn’t been with us long, a little over 25 years. It pops up in films, in fiction, in newspaper editorials, every time someone develops a more advanced piece of programing for automatic machinery. When Remington Rand unveiled a computer which responded to written commands in ordinary English rather than computer code, prophets of mechanical doom made dire predictions on the future of mankind.


This reminds me a lot of that Robotic Pack Mule video that’s been going around.


An Original MI Design by FRANK TINSLEY

IMAGINE, if you can, machines that walk—articulated mechanical “mule trains” that could thread a tortuous path through boulder fields and forests and negotiate mountain passes with heavy loads of freight. Sound crazy? Well, our Armed Forces and Space Authority are dead serious about it. Right now engineers are perfecting pilot models that are already walking around laboratories and testing grounds.

One of these devices is the solar-powered Moon Rover vehicle intended for remote-controlled reconnoitering of the moon. Designed by the engineers of Space-General Corporation, the Moon Rover will be lofted to our lunar satellite by an Atlas-Centaur rocket. Upon landing, the six-legged explorer will unfold, raise its panel of sun batteries and, with the power thus generated, march off about its business at a brisk three mph, picking up geological samples with pincer-like fingers, analyzing them and flashing the information back to earth.

Early ad for Asimov’s I Robot (Sep, 1952)

For all you us sci-fi nerds out there.

Here are the newest and best books on ROBOTS by the publishers of the, most popular novels in Science-Fiction.

I ROBOT by Isaac Asimov
$2.50 – A truly great book written by one of the finest science fiction writers of our time. Based on the authors famed POSITRONIC ROBOT in a dramatically warm and exciting novel of thinking machines.

Science Secrets Revealed at New York Worlds Fail (Jul, 1939)


Cosmic rays, electronic energy and light power axe but a few of the invisible influences harnessed by science, whose magic show dramatizes its researches and discoveries for the Fair’s sixty-million visitors. Here’s a partial review to whet your appetite for this fascinating scientific show.

by Stanley Gerstin

SCIENTISTS at the New York World’s Fair are putting on a show that makes Aladdin and his magic lamp look like a piker!

They are in control of invisible forces whose secrets they use to baffle, amaze and entertain! So don’t take it on the lam if you hear your voice come in the door and go out the window. And don’t see your eye doctor if you suddenly observe an electric fan reverse its motion and cut capers when mesmerized by a flickering light. For this is part of the show—and the show will have only just begun. Shortly, a gigantic Frankenstein of aluminum, obeying the barked commands of its human director, will take over as a master of ceremonies in this fantastic temple of science.

“NO-HANDS” TRAIN (Jun, 1958)

You don’t need an engineer on this tractor-train, because the system at Esso’s Baton Rouge refinery is electronically controlled. The train, which pulls five trailers at 2-3/4 miles at hour, follows the electromagnetic field of a wire laid in the floor.
Two gates in the building open automatically as the train approaches and shut when it passes. It makes 11 stops at service points called “beacons.” Each “beacon” sends out a different signal to stop the train at the proper place.
Known as “Guide-O-Matic,” the train is made by the Barrett-Cravens Co., Northbrook, 111.

Walking Robot Has Radio Controls (Oct, 1948)

Walking Robot Has Radio Controls

Controlled by a radio installed in a truck, a 400-pound robot can walk under its own power. The mechanical man, built by Reat Younger of Springfield, Mo., stands over six feet tall and weighs 400 pounds. Younger was intrigued by a robot he saw in a motion picture when he was a boy, and started building his own automaton while he was in high school. He now is working on plans to make the robot walk through a complicated system of transmitters, receivers and relays.

High-School Robots Learn the “Three Rs” (Jul, 1955)

The “Thinker” device sounds like B.S.. They admit that it has to be “pumped” with answers. My guess is that it either it just spits out the next answer in it’s queue when a button is pressed (I doubt the mike is hooked up to anything). Or, more likely, it’s just a complete fake and there is someone controlling it. It sure as hell doesn’t have voice recognition in 1955.

Also, it seems to me that $150 or $200 in 1955 is a hell of a lot of money for a high-school science project.

High-School Robots Learn the “Three Rs”

By Jim Collison

AN ELECTRONIC THINKER—a completely mechanical robot — built by Robert Kotsmith, 16, and Michael Chmielewski, 17, high-school juniors at Foley, Minn., is passing exams of a factual nature that would stump any uneducated robot.

The machine, built during a period of 10 months at an estimated cost of only $120, understands and answers the human voice. The Thinker answers mathematical questions, gives data on current events and history, writes and even learns new facts it does not already know.

Even to persons well versed on scientific progress, this project seems astounding. Foley science instructor Alfred A. Lease says this of his students: “Their accomplishments would make some college graduates look on with envy.”

Robot Song Master Stimulates Sunday-School Singing (Nov, 1953)

Robot Song Master Stimulates Sunday-School Singing
Youngsters sing their lungs out to please a robot who draws big crowds to a Seattle Sunday-school class. “Sam” has eyes of radio tubes and light-bulb ears, a big square face and a grinning mouth. As the volume of singing increases, bulbs light up and Sam’s long red tongue wags back and forth. Besides functioning like an applause meter, Sam tells short Bible stories by means of a hidden tape recorder.