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Rebuilding the UK’s first robot

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When researchers at London’s Science Museum were putting together an exhibition they came across the remarkable story of a robot called Eric.

Records showed that, back in the 1920s, Eric weighed just over 45 kg and had an armour-plated chest, legs and arms’ made of aluminum. He had light bulbs for eyes and 35,000 volts of electricity caused blue sparks to fly from his teeth!

The researchers tracked down the relatives of Eric’s original creators who helped them gather enough original imagery to bring him back to life.

“We stumbled across Eric’s remarkable story whilst researching for our upcoming Robots exhibition and had a dream to rebuild him,” they said.

Eric was built at a time when robots were beginning to capture the public’s imagination. He featured in a play and wowed the audiences across the globe. Then Eric disappeared.

Was he lost, destroyed or recycled for spare parts? No one knows. But the Science Museum was determined to bring Eric back to life. A campaign was launched to raise £50,000 to build a copy of Eric.

Artist builder Giles Walker agreed to help build and improve the robot Eric. Instead of all the old gear, Eric’s wires and motors have been updated. He is made out of aluminum and can move his head and arms, and can speak a number of phrases.

Last month he was the star of a major exhibition at the Science Museum, which explored the remarkable 500-year story of humanoid robotics. As part of a 5-year tour, Eric will also visit Manchester in the UK and a number of international museums.

 

Libby and Millie

Heighington Millfield Primary Academy

7 Responses to Rebuilding the UK’s first robot

  1. admin February 27, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    What a great story, girls. Well done!

    Bill

    YJA Co-editor

    Reply
  2. Jude February 28, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Love robots and your story =)

    Reply
  3. Matt February 28, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Fab article girls. Really enjoyed the story of Eric 🙂

    Matt
    YJA Co-editor

    Reply
  4. jemma March 1, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I love the article well done 😉

    Reply
  5. julia :-) March 1, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    I love robots 😉
    Looking forward to seeing your next article.

    Reply
  6. Lily March 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Great articles Libby and Millie really enjoyed reading it.
    Keep the amazing articles up 👍🏻

    Reply
  7. Lilia A & Abi F March 16, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Great article Libby and Millie, its amazing how someone could remake a robot, called Eric:)

    Reply

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