Have you ever taught about the word “robot” and where it comes from? It is derived from the Slavanic “rabota”, meaning “servitude”. Less than a decade later after that word was first used, one of the first robots in the world came into existence. It happened in Britain and it caused quite a stir amongst the crowds.
His name was Eric and people loved him. It was an impersonation of everything that people imagined a robot would be. He could stand up, he could move his arms, he could take a bow and sit down again. But after a few years, Eric mysteriously disappeared. To this day, no one has found out what really happened.
So in honor of the old days, a team from the Science Museum of London is planning to rebuild him, using original materials. He was quite scary. Made of aluminum, Eric measured about 6 feet and weighed about 100 pounds and when he spoke, he threw sparks of electricity through his teeth.
Nevertheless, the people who took up this quest said it serves a higher purpose. It’s not just about the fun or the technology wander. It’s also about the questions that robots challenge us to ask ourselves. They respond to our curiosity about our bodies and our nature and make us think about the world in ways we wouldn’t otherwise do. Eric stands for something bigger than some pieces of aluminium put together and the Science Museum of London is about to prove it.