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Amazing Historic Robot

November 5, 2013

The below little video I stumbled upon offered me a new sense of admiration for our human ancestors and the ingenuity they possessed.

In what we would consider recent past (20th and 21st centuries) we are all familiar with geniuses (Einstein, Tesla, Hawking) and visionary people (Bill Gates, Steve Job, Henry Ford) who contributed to the overall body of knowledge through a breakthrough or a vision of a product or theory. I sometimes inadvertently succumb to a narrow naive view that the further you go back in history the mentally blunter our human race becomes. I have to remind myself that these type of people must have existed all throughout history, and that its most probable that there have been many exemplars of intellect who are forever obscured in the shadow of history-past merely due to the misfortune of their birth. What I mean by that remark is that its probable that there have been many Einstein-like people born in say some remove backwater steppe centuries ago who could not exert their full potential due to the luck of their birth and who were destined to live out their lives by the sweat of their brow.

But coming back to the original purpose of my post I wanted to share a small clip of a mechanical robot or automaton as they are called that was build by a skilled watch maker around 2 and a half centuries ago, yep that is an astonishing 250 odd years! It just shows that humans had amazing skills way before computers as we know them today existed. To create something so complex so long ago boggles my mind.

The writer automaton robot

And what’s more amazing is that this complex robotic doll, can be “programmed” to write anything else as some of the parts are interchangeable. This is your Ipad of of the 18th century,

Then there is this mechanical monk that is still functional and which was created in 1560!!!! The video is terrible quality, but the fact that this monk “walks in a square, striking his chest with his right arm, raising and lowering a small wooden cross and rosary in his left hand, turning and nodding his head, rolling his eyes, and mouthing silent obsequies. From time to time, he brings the cross to his lips and kisses it” shows how complex the machinery inside of him has to be all while being 450 years old.

See the small article, a podcast about the monk and video in the below link

http://www.radiolab.org/story/218955-ghost-machine/

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