When Alan Turing visited the Science Museum in Kensington in 1951 he was reportedly taken with the “proto-robots” from Grey Walter. Fitted with lights and photoreceptors, these cybenetic “tortises” were pretty darn cute. Here’s more from the Science Museum:
There were two, called Elsie and Elmer, and these bumbling, ‘proto-robots’ were fitted with lights and photoreceptors, so they appeared to dance together clumsily when they caught sight of each other across their enclosure.
When they were on good form, they could show surprisingly lifelike behaviour. Each had just two ‘senses’ – attraction to light and repulsion on contact, but this generated quite complex and amusing behaviour – particularly when two were together since their lights attracted them to each other but when they bumped together they backed away, continually repeating the cycle of attraction and repulsion.
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