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Entries in robots (79)

Tuesday
Nov272007

World of Robots (1929)

The November 10, 1929 Helena Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) ran this short piece about the robots of the future which would enslave humanity by the year 1950.

Birmingham, Eng., Nov. 9. - The world will be a place of mechanical men in 1950, according to the Institute of Industrial Welfare. Skill will have vanished from industry then, it was predicted, and men will be slaves of machines, working ceaselessly in the cause of mass production. The institute is trying to develop "leisure skill" in place of mechanical skill.


See also:
Donald Duck's "Modern Inventions" (1937)
All's Fair at the Fair (1938)
The Mechanical Man of the Future (1928)
The End of Work (1966)
Restaurant Robots (1931)

 

Monday
Nov262007

Maid Without Tears (1978)


Matt Chapman, co-creator of Homestar Runner, sent me this great image from the 1978 book Exploring the World of Robots.

While I've never had a maid, I didn't know that they were always on the verge of crying! As Matt notes, "the 'Maid Without Tears' does not appear to have been made without cords as she has two of them coming out of her, dragging dangerously on the ground." Text from the image appears below.

Stay tuned, because I've found some great newspaper articles about the "Quasar, robot of the future." With headlines like, "Take out your trash, laugh at your jokes," and "R2D2? You ain't seen nothin' yet!" just scratch the paleo-futuristic surface.

Today we have many different gadgets in our homes. They make housework and gardening easier. In [the] future we may have robot servants to do all the jobs in the home.

 

In charge of tomorrow's servants will be a robot brain. It will run the house. It will control other machines electronically. The brain will work vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, washing machines, food mixers, automatic cookers and other gadgets.

We will be able to give the brain its orders, telling it what jobs to do and when to do them. If we forget to mow the lawn, the robot brain will remind us. Then we can tell the robot to get on with the job.

There may be walking robots to do the dusting, and to lay and clear the table. The robots in the picture are real. One is called Quasar. Quasar can vacuum carpets, mow lawns, carry trays of food, and even take the dog for a walk! At the door is another robot, called the Maid Without Tears.

One day people may not go out to work at all. They will work from home, using television and robots. The robot brain will suggest meals for the day. It will order our shopping, finding out from other robots in the local shops where the best buys are. The goods will be packed and delivered to our home by robots.


See also:
Robots: The World of the Future (1979)
Living Room of the Future (1979)
In a Cashless Future, Robots Will Cook (1996)
Closer Than We Think! Robot Housemaid (1959)
The Electronic Brain Made Beef Stew (1959)
The Future of Personal Robots (1986)

 

Friday
Nov162007

Closer Than We Think! Custom-Grown Timber (1960)

The man in this May 8, 1960 Closer Than We Think! strip is injecting color into trees from a walking robot paint-mixer. Much like polar oil wells, this image certainly has a different connotation in 2007 than it did in 1960.

Today's forests simply grow. Tomorrow, this process may be speeded and regulated - as to size, quality and even color, thanks to intensive research work now under way.

 

The U.S. Forest Service has already developed pine trees that mature twice as fast as today's ponderosa. Rayonier, Inc., is injecting radioactive carbon 14 into trunks to affect cellulose growth. Weyerhaeuser Co. has created new ways to avoid insect damage. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports a treatment that will pre-color lumber while the trees are still growing; thus painting of wood may one day become a thing of the past.


See also:
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)
Closer Than We Think! Fat Plants and Meat Beets (1958)
Robot Farms (1982)
Going Backward into 2000 (1966)

 

Wednesday
Oct312007

Restaurant Robots (1931)

The March 27, 1931 Lima News (Lima, Ohio) ran a piece titled, "Press the Button and Mechanical Man Will Pop Right Up With Meal." Automation, as we've seen through countless other posts, epitomizes futurism of the 1930s. Robots (a relatively new term in 1931) seemed to often be thrown in for that extra bit of flair.

The machine age is about to take command of the world's largest industry - the $23,000,000,000-a-year restaurant business. Hungry patrons will push various buttons representing items on the menu, their orders will be transmitted electrically to kitchen robots which will prepare their food, deliver it, collect the bills, and carry off the dishes.



See also:
Just Imagine (1930)
In a Cashless Future, Robots Will Cook (1996)
Closer Than We Think! Robot Housemaid (1959)
The Electronic Brain Made Beef Stew (1959)
The Future of Personal Robots (1986)
Donald Duck's "Modern Inventions" (1937)
All's Fair at the Fair (1938)
The Mechanical Man of the Future (1928)

 

Sunday
Oct282007

Robots vs. Musicians (1931)


This ad from the March 9, 1931 Simpson's Leader-Times (Kittanning, PA) is in no way subtle. The consequences of using recorded music at theatre performances rather than live musicians are, "Monotony in the theatre - corruption of taste - destruction of art." Yikes.

Here is a struggle of intense interest to all music lovers. If the Robot of Canned Music wrests the helm from the Muse, passengers aboard the good ship Musical Culture may well echo the offer of Gonzalo to trade "a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of ground." Are you content to face a limitless expanse of "sound" without a sign of music?

 

Monotony in the theatre - corruption of taste - destruction of art. These must inevitably follow substitution of mechanical music for living music.

Millions of Music Defense League members cordially invite you to join them in putting the Robot in his place. Just sign and mail the coupon.


See also:
The Future is Now (1955)
All the Music of the Centuries (1908)
"I Can Whip Any Mechanical Robot" by Jack Dempsey (1930s)
The Robot is a Terrible Creature (1922)
Gigantic Robots to Fight Our Battles (Fresno Bee, 1934)
Mammy vs Robot (Charleston Gazette, 1937)

 

Monday
Oct222007

Not a Robot - A Fire Eater (1937)


This photo ran in the October 29, 1937 Chester Times (Chester, PA).

The firefighter of the future is shown making his bow at a demonstration in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Garbed in an asbestos suit, this smoke eater walks undaunted into the flames, armed with a chemical pump which quickly subdues flames. The equipment is to be used on airplane carriers.

French Prints Show the Year 2000 (1910)
Part-Time Robot (1923)

Wednesday
Oct032007

The Future of Personal Robots (1986)

The May-June 1986 issue of The Futurist magazine ran an article titled, "The Future of Personal Robots." An excerpt appears below.


Robots can already be used to entertain young children. Their entertainment value for older children and adults, however, is for the most part limited to the intellectual challenge of programming them. But future robots will be complete home-entertainment centers, able to sing and dance and tell jokes, as well as control all your electronic entertainment equipment - TV, radio, stereo, computer games and telephone.

Like many paleo-futuristic images of robots, the article imagines the robot as a mechanical person, one of the least useful forms a robot can take for those living in 2007. Taken literally, it is difficult to image the robot that will, "sing and dance and tell jokes," being mass-produced anytime soon.

Also, do the people above live in a house with kitchen counters just two feet tall or is Omnibot one hell of a jumper?

See also:
Closer Than We Think! Robot Housemaid (1959)
Robot Farms (1982)
The Robot Rebellion (1982)
Japanese Retail Robots (1986)
Robots: The World of the Future (1979)
Living Room of the Future (1979)