Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Elektro and Sparko

Elektro, one of the most photographed mechanical men, was produced by Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 1939 for the New York World's Fair.
Constructed from Aluminium on a steel frame, Elektro was capable of performing twenty six movements and responded to commands spoken into a microphone. each word set up vibrations which were converted into electrical impulses; which in turn operated the relays controlling eleven motors. A series of words properly spaced selected the movement Elektro was to make. Two-word commands started an action. One-word commands stopped it. Four words returned all relays to their normal positions. His fingers, arms and turntable for talking were operated by nine motors and another small motor worked the bellows so the giant could smoke. The eleventh motor drove the four rubber rollers under each foot, enabling him to walk.
Elektro's faithful companion, the dog Sparko, with two motors, could beg, bark and wag his tail.


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