Archive
Tag "automata"
AUTOMATIC VIOLIN PLAYER (Feb, 1909)

AUTOMATIC VIOLIN PLAYER

By EMMETT CAMPBELL HALL

AN automatically operated violin, playing music with all the skill of the most trained human hand, is now an accomplished fact, although musicians and even scientists have declared that such a thing would never be achieved.

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Mechanical Monsters that Live and Breathe (Mar, 1932)

Mechanical Monsters that Live and Breathe

by BENNETT LINCOLN

When the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals steps in to prevent the mistreatment of a papier mache elephant, the modeler of that elephant can consider himself an artist with a capital A. This article tells you of the world’s most amazing studio, in which lifelike creatures, from spiders to prehistoric monsters which walk, eat, and breathe, are manufactured by skilled artists and mechanics.

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Antique Mechanical Computers – Part 2: 18th and 19th Century Mechanical Marvels (Aug, 1978)

Be sure to check out Part 1.

Antique Mechanical Computers Part 2: 18th and 19th Century Mechanical Marvels

Dr James M Williams
58 Trumbull St
New Haven CT 06510

In “Part 1: Early Automata,” page 48, July 1978 BYTE, we traced the development of antique mechanical computers up to the middle of the 18th century, and described such devices as Vaucanson’s mechanical duck. Now we continue with a discussion of talking, writing and music playing automata of the 18th and 19th centuries. (The discussion is not meant to be an exhaustive one, of course, since that would be beyond the scope of this series.) Later Automata.

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Antique Mechanical Computers – Part 1: Early Automata (Jul, 1978)

Antique Mechanical Computers – Part 1: Early Automata

Dr James M Williams
58 Trumbull St
New Haven CT 06510

My purpose in writing these articles is to remind computer enthusiasts that there is a high technology in every age, not just our own. Described herein are some of the stellar accomplishments of earlier times. The technology of electronics is merely the latest link in a continuous chain of technological developments spanning 20,000 years. Before that, there was a mechanical technology.

Part 1 of this three part series describes some highlights in the development of automata up to the 18th century. Part 2 continues with 18th and 19th century developments, and part 3 concludes with a description of Torres’ 1911 chess automaton.

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First Robot (Aug, 1950)

First Robot in history is said to be this soldier with an automatic bellows blowing a trumpet. It was made in 1910 by Friedrich Kaufman of Dresden, Germany, and is on display at present in the Munich Museum. Clockwork spring drives it.

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Reading Thoughts by Radio and Inventor Forecasts Private Radio Systems (May, 1924)

I wonder which idea readers in 1924 thought was more plausible; mind reading automatons or cell phones. Whatever the answer, one thing is clear: we need to come up with some way to use the word “radioplasm”. Google only returns two hits on this word and one of them is in another language.

Reading Thoughts by Radio

Can thoughts be read by radio? “Madam Radora” seems to prove that they can. Madam is not a human being, but a life-size automaton shown at the Permanent Radio Fair in New York. Her “thoughts” and movements are controlled entirely by wireless; no wires of any kind are attached to the table whereon she rests, and a liberal reward is promised the person who can prove that this is not true.

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“Robot Man” Has Glass Body (Jun, 1939)

“Robot Man” Has Glass Body
PLACED on exhibition at the San Francisco Golden Gate Exposition, a newly developed “mechanical man” features a body made of plate glass, revealing an intricate maze of cogs, gears, wheels, levers, etc., to public gaze. Employing a microphone which it holds to its mouth, the robot answers numerous questions put to it by means of a dial device, as demonstrated by the young lady (above). Two years were required to build the intricate robot machine.

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