ROBOT ORCHESTRA (May, 1954)

ROBOT ORCHESTRA
ONE of the world’s most unique orchestras—made up entirely of robots—plays nightly at the Robot Club in Antwerp, Belgium. Designed and constructed by the club owner, Zenon Specht, the electrically-controlled musicians can play anything from tangoes to bop, changing their expressions to suit the mood. The customer is provided with three songs for a nickel and then the robots sit down. When another nickel is fed to them, the boys get up and swing out three more numbers. Their motion is controlled by perforated tapes looking like player piano rolls.

6 comments
  1. Trey says: August 10, 200611:48 am

    And I thought those guys at Chuck E. Cheese were scary!!!

  2. Charlie says: August 10, 200612:43 pm

    Actually I have one that looks a lot like Chuck E. Cheese. I’ll see if I can find it, it was quite scary.

  3. Los Premios Lanark | Orquesta Robot says: August 11, 200612:52 pm

    [...] ROBOT ORCHESTRA ONE of the world’s most unique orchestras—made up entirely of robots—plays nightly at the Robot Club in Antwerp, Belgium. Designed and constructed by the club owner, Zenon Specht, the electrically-controlled musicians can play anything from tangoes to bop, changing their expressions to suit the mood. The customer is provided with three songs for a nickel and then the robots sit down. When another nickel is fed to them, the boys get up and swing out three more numbers. Their motion is controlled by perforated tapes looking like player piano rolls. [...]

  4. Pol Dodu says: May 8, 200811:09 pm

    Hello, from about the same time, but in France, “Les Robots-Music” were devised in the 1950′s by engineer R. M. Diomgar and a group of ex-prisoners of war, they toured French fairs in support of their association from the 50′s to the 80′s, and thus have fascinated a whole generation of French.
    On my site, their history and how they may or may not have influenced and been saved by Kraftwerk : http://vivonzeureux.fr/…
    A collection of documents and testimonies, including a link to a recent performance in a Berlin museum : http://vivonzeureux.fr/…
    There were four lps by Les Robots-Music released in the 1970s.

  5. Lionel Codd says: June 1, 200812:37 pm

    I was in the British Merchant Navy in the 1950s to the early 1960s, and when I was in Antwerp we found the “Robot Bar”.
    At the time there was a juke box in the bar as well, but the robots took precedence when requested! I was told that the robots were pre-war and made in Germany. Was I misinformed and are the current robots the ones that I remember from 50 years ago?

  6. DEVIDTS Serge says: November 16, 20111:12 pm

    Hello, I’m the grandson of the creator of this robots
    I do have dozes of pictures of my grandfather with his robots and I can assure you he made them (all 9 of them) all by himself. I’m planning a website very soon, as a tribute to this amazing person, which passed away to soon. Any extra info or thought are always welcome !
    Serge Marcel Zenon Devidts.

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