automatons

A Mechanical Doll That Will Crawl All The Way Into Your Nightmares

The next time your kid complains about not having the latest and greatest toys, just point them towards this photo of what children in the late 1800s had to play with. On one hand they will certainly start appreciating what they have got, but on the other they probably won’t sleep for a week because this thing will haunt their dreams.


This Neat Lego Automaton Can Draw Portraits

This is Legonardo, an automaton capable of drawing portraits. It doesn’t have the complex clockwork used by automatons of old, like its Swiss counterpart made by Pierre Jacquet-Droz and Henri Maillardet in the 18th century, but it’s pretty neat anyway.


Creepy 18th Century Robot Comes Back To Life

Back in the 18th century, this automaton called ‘The Writer’ was built by Jaquet Droz. After more than 200 years, the robot has been reanimated, and it’s way creepier than any robot made today.


Watch This Autonomous Mecha Fish Navigate A Kiddie Pool

Our brothers-in-arms over at Gizmodo Poland have stumbled upon something magical. Witness Mecha Fish, so named by me because it is a fearsome beast that navigates kiddie pools and cannot be tamed thanks to a kind of rudimentary Bluetooth echolocation.


Incredibly Realistic Silver Swan Automaton Was Made In 1700s

If this Silver Swan automaton were invented yesterday, it would have surprised me for its realism, and the fact that it’s made of glass and silver. When I learnt it’s from the 18th century, it completely blew me away.


Magic-Performing 1920s Chinese Automaton

newVideoPlayer("chinesemagician_gawker.flv", 475, 376);It’s not quite Asimo, but this Chinese magician automaton (read: crappy wooden robot) does one thing and one thing only: make other wooden automatons appear and disappear from containers (we don’t count sporting a bad arse mustache as a thing). It’s going to be auctioned off on October 28 at Skinner in Bolton, MA, if any of you are interested. Illusions, Michael. [Boing Boing]