The Return Of Robot Eric

We love a robot here at eBuzz. They’re getting more amazing, lifelike and capable every year, and you’ve probably been amazed, like us at the remarkable work of companies like Boston Dynamics.

Now it’s time for a little look back, rather than forwards though.  Let’s step back to where it all began and have a look at the first British robot that caught the eye of a truly astonished world almost ninety years ago. Eric. was created in 1928 by William Richards and Albert Herbert Reffell, Eric was the first of his kind. Standing at a height of 5ft and weighting around 45Kg, Eric’s feet were fastened to a wooden box which hid a 12 volt electric motor. Equipped with light bulbs for eyes, blue sparks flew from his sharp teeth as he spoke, which were created by 35,000 volts of electricity.

The public saw him first when he took to the stage and addressed the crowds gathered in the Royal Horticultural Hall.  He bowed – turning his head from side to side and moving his hands along with a speech. As you can imagine, in 1928, with a talking, moving, functioning robot, the pair wowed crowds through UK, Europe and even visited New York.

By the 1930’s, Eric had vanished without a trace.

GOMSHALL, UNITED KINGDOM – 1928: Captain William Richards and Alan Herbert Reffell have designed and built a kinght- like robot named Eric and able to perform the same tasks as a human being in 1928, in Gomshall, United Kingdom. (Photo by Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Recently, after tracking down the family of the creators, the original designs and drawing that helped create Eric were found. The Science Museum in London with the help of expert roboticist, Giles Walker, are looking to re-build this genius invention and are asking for the public’s help through Kickstarter. Aiming for a figure of £35,000, you can help fund the project from as little as £5, you receive Eric merchandise with some of the higher pledge amounts.

If all goes according to plan, you should be able to visit Eric in the museum from October. Following that he will star in the Robots Exhibition then they aim for him to re-live his youth and travel the world like he did 90 years ago.

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