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ElgaKoster

1774 Writer Automaton

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ElgaKoster

If ever I visit Switzerland I would love to go to the museum of art and history in Ville de Neuchátel to see this amazing automaton. This just blows my mind, all the intricate planning to make this work so smooth.

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Here is a link to a video showing how the automaton works.

http://www.chonday.com/Videos/the-writer-automaton

And some articles I found, enjoy.

http://www.ablogtowatch.com/jaquet-droz-the-writer-automata-awesome-antique-android/

http://history-computer.com/Dreamers/Jaquet-Droz.html

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Wm. R. Robertson

Well, there is another place to see one. In Philadelphia's Franklin Institute they have one on display. It is the automaton that inspired Martin Scorsese film "Hugo". I should add that just about all of that film is based on the truth, the only part that is bogus is the part of the story about the boy living above the train station. Anyway the film shows a lot of scenes of this writing boy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/27/science/maillardet-automaton-inspired-martin-scorseses-film-hugo.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Now if you into this sort of thing I highly recommend the book "Edison's Eve" by Gaby Wood. It is mankind search for artificial life, starting with Vulcannson's Mechanical duck to Edison's talking doll.

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/tech/summary/v045/45.4wosk.html

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Bill Hudson

Thank you Elga, I have been fascinated with automation since for ever. I remember when Disney came out with the talking Lincoln. One time on public broad casting they did a segment on the mechanical parts of him. The little singing birds really fascinate me.

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ElgaKoster

Bill R, thanks I enjoyed the article on the Franklin Institute automaton, I did see the Hugo movie and was fascinated by the writing automaton. My daughter has been showing me a few video's of a talking robot made in France, it even throws tantrums and then apologizes, reminds me too much of a two year old to want one...and to be honest, I find it a bit creepy.

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