The mystery of UK's first robot, Eric, and why he's been rebuilt

  • 8 February 2017
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The UK's first robot has been rebuilt (pictures from the Science Museum)

Eric the robot is no ordinary robot.

He is a copy of one of the world's first ever robots, and has gone on show at the Science Museum in London.

Eric was originally built in 1928 by Captain WH Richards and AH Reffell.

Image copyright Science Museum
Image caption A photo of the original Eric from 1928

However, after he amazed crowds all over the world, Eric mysteriously disappeared - never to be seen again.

That is until 2016, when the Science Museum launched a campaign to raise money to build a copy of Eric.

Artist and robot builder Giles Walker agreed to help build the new and improved Eric.

However, the only information he had to go off were old newspaper stories, a short video from the 1920s, and a scribbled copy of the original building plans.

Image copyright Science Museum

Instead of his old gears and pulleys, Eric is now operated by wires and motors.

It took Giles five months to build the new robot and he stands at a whopping two metres tall.

He is made from aluminium and can move his arms and head, and speak a number of phrases.

Image copyright Science Museum
Image caption Eric (right) is now on display at the Science Museum, with lots of other robots

Ben Russell, who put Eric on display at the Science Museum, said: "As the UK's first robot, Eric holds a unique place in our history.

"He was everything we now imagine a robot to be - a talking, moving mechanical person."

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