Post-war robot only had eyes for beer


17 Nov 2010

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One of the world’s earliest humanoid robots, George, which was built out of scrap metal from crashed war planes, could only recognise beer bottles, it has been revealed.

The inventor behind the robot told bbc.co.uk that he constructed the primitive robot in 1950 from scrap metal that came from a crashed Wellington bomber and that he had built numerous incarnations of George before then.

Pining for a cold one

A former spy catcher and RAF officer, Tony Sale said that the George in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, the home of Britain’s main decryption establishment for submarine codes and the government code and cypher school during World War II, was started soon after WWII and was built by having "light-sensitive cells in his eyes enabling him to home in on an illuminated beer bottle".

However, George’s residence in a garage watching beer bottles came to an end following a call from the BBC TV programme ‘Wallace and Gromit’s World of Invention’, according to George’s inventor.

George now resides at the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, UK.