Siri ’29 (Sep, 1929)

Robots Answer All Questions

HOW England’s mechanical men work was recently explained. A youngster wishing to know the location of a restaurant sees one of the mechanical men on a street corner. Approaching him, he presses a button on his tummy. Almost instantly lights stare from under the steel man’s heavy eyebrows and a deep voice booms out, “What do you want to know?”

The youth startled, stutters, “Ppplease, where can I find a restaurant?”

“Three blocks and turn to your right,” the answer comes.

Bewildered, the boy follows directions and, sure enough, walks straight into a restaurant.

What has happened is this: When the youth pushed the button on the man’s stomach a light showed in front of a man in a control room some distance away. He immediately “plugged in” on the steel man from which the signal came. Conversation was possible by a microphone connection.

  1. Toronto says: December 8, 20113:23 pm

    “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

  2. Kosher Ham says: December 8, 20114:24 pm

    Or behind the computer or teletype keyboard…..we used to do those tricks 30 years ago at our college open house. The year after I graduated, the wire was replaced with a 10 GHz link and the teletype with a computer monitor.

  3. Darren says: December 8, 20114:39 pm

    But they didn’t explain how the man answers all questions.

  4. Cza says: December 26, 20116:39 am

    I have never seen such a contraption. Anyone with a link to a photo?

  5. Timmay says: January 6, 201212:24 am

    I think I found it!…

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