Before there were more refined robots such as ASIMO, or even Star Wars own C-3PO and R2-D2, that inspired so much in the tech world, there was first Eric the Robot. It was even dubbed as the first “almost perfect man.”
Eric the Robot Was Dubbed The “Almost Perfect Man”
Eric the Robot was relegated towards history where he can be found just sitting around gathering piles and piles of dust. He used to tour around the United States and in Europe back in the 1920s. However, after recently stumbling upon the plans for the “almost perfect man,” the Science Museum in London has just launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding project to bring this man of steel (not Superman) back to life.
As of Wednesday, May 12, 2016, the museum was still short with regards to their $50,000 goal. However, they are not about to lose hope just yet as they plan to have a replica of Eric the Robot to be ready in October. The museum plans to display him at a new “Robots” exhibition that will be available for viewing come February of next year. They will then send him off to travel the world, just like the original robot.
Lead curator Ben Russell said the following in a statement: “As the U.K.’s first robot, Eric holds a unique place in our history. He is everything we now imagine a robot to be — a talking, moving mechanical person — and with your support on Kickstarter we’ll bring him back to life for future generations to enjoy.”
Eric was first built back in 1928 by World War 1 Captain William Richards along with engineer A.H. Reffell. The two persons were living in less than a decade prior to the word “robot” being used, according the Science Museum. Eric’s first public showing was during the same year at the Society of Model Engineers exhibition that took place in London. Back then, the public was able to gaze their eyes on the armor-plated chest, the aluminum arms and legs, and light-bulb eyes of Eric. He used about 35,000 volts of electricity, which even caused “blue sparks to fly from his teeth,” according to the Science Museum.
Eric the Robot, even though he is now primitive when looking at modern standards, did wow audiences with his array of abilities which included sit down, stand up, and even “speak” with an English accent. He even muttered a few jokes during his Big Apple debut, as per The New York Times.