Archive for August, 2010

1976-2009 SABOR V “Orbitus” – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

orbitus foyer detail 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

A period photo of SABOR as "ORBITUS" – Image courtesy Barbara Douvalakis – Peter Steuer's daughter.

sabor flickr x640 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

sabor flickr die robot kommen p1 x640 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

SABOR V in the "Die Roboter Kommen!" exhibition in Berlin, 2007.

flickr sabor p1 x640 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

flickr sabor p2 x640 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

Roboter Sabor x640 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

sabor flickt2o x640 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

sabor orbiter video  1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

SABOR DRKp2 x640 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

Sabor's remaining spares held in the EBM Museum, Switzerland.

SABOR V DRKp1 x640(1) 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

sabor swiss2009robot x640 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

sabor zurich x640 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

WashingtonPost 2009Jun30 SABOR x640 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)


SABOR V Storm p1 x640 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

SABOR V with his "Orbitus" head gear taken   off.

SABOR V Storm p2 x640 1976 2009 SABOR V Orbitus – Peter Steuer / EBM (Swiss)

In 1964, Sabor conformed to the astronaut look and temporarily adopted the name Orbitus.

1976 was the last great performances with SABOR opening an old people's home, a place he could not make a reservation himself. For years SABOR stood in Steuer's garage. It wasn't  until after his death in 1990, SABOR found his way to the EBM Museum in Switzerland.  SABOR V then had a major outing at the Museum of Communications in Berlin at the remarkable exhibition "Die Roboter Kommen!" ("The robots come!") in 2007.

1954 – SABOR V – Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961-9] – (Swiss)

SABORV DRKp2 x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

Queen Juliana opens Holland's Flower Show in 1955. SABOR greets her and she accepts a gift of flowers from him.

See Video clip here.
register for free, then login and search for "100 YEAR OLD HAARLEMMEERPOLDER"

Film Title: QUEEN JULIANA OPENS FAIR – HOLLAND  
Card Title: 100 YEAR OLD HAARLEMMEERPOLDER
Location: Harlem, Holland
Date: 07/07/1955 
Length: 41 secs 
Story Number: 63983
Description: Queen Juliana performed the opening ceremony at the centenary of a famous Dutch Exhibition. Her Majesty's bouquet was presented to her by a Robot.
Shot List: CU of Queen Juliana and party. GV of exhibition. Queen opens gate. Robot presents flowers. Robot shakes hands with the Queen.


SABOR V Brussel58 x640(1) 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

SABOR exhibit building in Brussels World Exhibition, 1958.

SABOR V p4 x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

One of the last modifications made was to inlude light control via photo-cells. The flashing torch corresponding to the rotary dial.

sabor mercury 24sep1954 danefield 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

SABOR V DRKp1 x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

SABOR Simmens x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

Peter Steuer with SABOR V c1960.

Sabor V lighter x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

Sabor V 1955 x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

SABOR V Kassell LL67 x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

SABOR V in Kassell, c1967.

SaborV x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

SABORV DRKp7 x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

SABOR had his fair share of pretty women!


Sabor 26jun1957p1 neon x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

Sabor 26jun1957p2 neon x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

Sabor 26jun1957p3 neon x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)


Sabor Rotterdam 30may1961p1 neon x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

Peter Steuer with SABOR on the liner "Rotterdam" on their way to New York – May, 1961.

Sabor Rotterdam 30may1961p2 neon x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

Flash light control was put in place by Eric Lanz for the American trip.

Sabor Rotterdam 30may1961p3 neon x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

SABOR V lights a cigarette for "Rotterdam" captain, Commodore Coenraad Bouman.

Sabor Rotterdam 30may1961p4 neon x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)


SABORV DRKp3 x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

SABOR V went on tour to Israel.


Sabor V QUB p6 x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)sv40229384 x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)SABOR V Steuer x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

SABOR V Joachim Kulenkampff x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

SABOR with Joachim Kulenkampff.


SABOR V brochure Nico rear 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

Brochure: Courtesy Barbara Douvalakis, Peter Steuer's daughter.


SABOR DRKp2 x640 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

Spare parts used to maintain SABOR when on a tour, now at the EBM Museum in Switzerland.


Transcription of emails I had with Eric Lanz from Jan-Feb 2008.

RH: I would like to know all the functions Sabor V can perform. i.e. walk, wink, head tilts forward?, smokes, raises arm, twists wrist, bend elbow, steers left/right?

EL: The basic functions are as follows:
Dancing backwards and forward movements,smoking via a vaccum pump,cigarette in
the hand,shooting a pistol, moving arms up and down, head turning left /right, eyes
open/shut and blinking. Sabor could not turn only straight walking forward or
backwards.

RH: I would also be interested in getting a description of the visible components ie where they are located and what they do ie the two meters in the middle of his chest, telephone dial, head functions, the number of radio-control channels, etc
EL: Controls:
Basic all functions via telefon dial i.e. dial 11 and he would walk etc,remote control via
handset or remote station.Voice and lip movements when talking only via remote station.
Radio controlled (function identical of model aeroplane). Voice over Short wave or later
FM modulation.

RH: Does he have an inbuilt voice/vocabulary, what remote control features are there, is there an automatic mode or not?
EL: My functions:
Maintain service and repair,transport to and from places of display,i.e United States in
1961,when in shows I was hidden away on a remote location i.e behind curtain or other nearby room,I would hear what Peter was asking Sabor and I would make the functions via remote station with dialling and voice. I speak French, English, German, Italien and Spanish…..I also had a dictonary at my station in case some more tricky questions needed an anwser.
The voice was picked up by a microphone inside Sabor and my voice via a microphone
at the base Station.On the main Aluminium Chest where 2 nipples which could be removed giving access to the frequency adjust for signal and Voice.
Relays, each function had its own relay, 4 batteries 2 in each leg gave it the stabilizing
weight and power.There was an AC converter for AC functions,drive motors where DC powerd,other function where clutch chain driven.
The Radio and remote functions where AC powerd with a two way channel function.
Example:
Peter(owner) asked "Sabor……..how are you……". I replied "not too good have a
cold……sneeze….". Now often the voice frequency needed adjusting, that is when he put
his hand in through the chest to adjust (Applaus and laughter from the spectators)
Display:
Usualy we where booked by an Agent…..Store, Theater, Show, Fair and Fairgrounds,but also a 6 months Tour of the US including TV apperance NBC New York,Various shows and commercial venues…

[late January 2008].

Further  Questions :

RH: Who was Bobby Lugano anf Paul Watensberger?

EL: Bobby Lugano was a Conferancie or demonstrator known in the Swiss and Austrian area. He would present the Robot if Peter Steuer was not present.
I believe Watensberger was an engineer from Basel who worked with Peter Steuer in the early days. He would do the functions behind the closed door or curtains during the early days, prior to my engagement.

RH: Sabor always wore a watch, maybe because we was Swiss? I'm guessing that one of the routines was for Sabor to look at the watch and tell the time.

EL: The presenter during a show would say "tell me the time Sabor" the remote station would then activate the corresponding Number, the arm would bend and move towards the head, once there the head would tilt towards the arm and I would respond over the microphone the time. The same would happen if he ask to give the lady a light, a corresponding number would activate the lighter, same with the pistol.
PS.Sabor was also smoking a cigarette, via an air bag in the center which would inhale and exit the smoke via a tube inside the mouth.

RH: Do you know anything about Sabor III & IV?
EL: I dont know too much about Sabor III or IV.

I sent Eric a video clip of Sabor IV  [British Pathe]

ER: What a wonderful shot of film of Sabor.
The Film shows Sabor IV, which I did not work on at the time because I joined in the 1960's only.
I made the modification for Sabor V, although we used the basic shell and some mechanics and electrics from his "Brother".

RH: How long were you with Sabor?
EL: I was with Sabor 1961-1969 then joined the aviation engineering……

RH: Did the shows stop when Peter died?
EL: Yes the shows stop prior to his death and Sabor was banished in to his Garage, where it was eventually given by his wife to the [EBM] Museum.

EL: The 2 smaller brothers Niko where shipped to the US. Niko was a fixed Robot slightly smaller the an adult, fixed on a platform and a hidden taperecorder was built inside of him. Prerecorded messages came from his lips an activated as soon as you removed a piece of information (sheet) out of his hand, usally telling people about the shows program. He would then reach in to his attached box and pick up a new paper.

RH: Roughly how many hours operation on a single charge of batteries?
EL: Batteries where charged up after each performance to make sure of good operation, we had of course plenty of spares (we carried everything in a small campertrailer)

EL: The remote control is not the one of your picture that was the old one and very unreliable.

RH: You say that Sabor could not turn. Does that mean there was a lot of man-handling of him? ie did you have to push him around a lot?
EL: Sabor could turn but we used it as little as possible, principle like a tank- stop one side and he would move slighty to the side…..the actual Robot was mostly on a stage and
did hardly any walking at all.

RH: When you use the telephone dial, you said what '11' was. On a dial '11' is two '1's ?  so the control unit then recognised when you had finished dialling?
EL: When dialling, again principal was like a phone dial after the Number was dialled the action was transmitted via a phone selector relay then to the relay and finaly the
action.

RH: Was Sabor shipped as a single unit, or was he dis-assembled for transporting?
EL: Sabor was dismantled by me, head removed, batteries removed then put on a stretcher with wheels and the placed inside the transporter trailer.

RH: With you skill in various languages, the illusion of Sabor as being an artificial life form must have been very real. How did you get the job of working with Peter and Sabor?
EL: I landed the job because I was a certified toolmaker with electronic and electrical qualification and because I spoke english (trip to the US pending). I guess that was the
crunch to get the job.

[continued February 2008]

RH: The twenty separate units in Sabor's chest, are each of those a separate  function, which control a sequence of steps ie a programmable switch/timer? When you say you dial "11" to perform a function, is that two "1"s, or "0" plus "1" to give eleven?
EL: The units on his chest were individual Relays each for a function, dial 11 gives eleven,there were all two digit functions.

RH: You also mention that you modified Sabor when you first joined. Were the modifications major?
EL: He also had a photocell were you could flash twice was equivelant to 11. The modification where substancial,i.e remote and radio,mechanical improvements,added functions etc.

RH: Here's a pic of Sabor IV as used in a movie [pic from Automates]. Is the Base Station real or just a movie prop?
EL: That was the one for Sabor IV, the modified unit was only about 60x30x40 cm and consisted of a two way communication, microphone, loudspeaker, dial and antenna.
Peter had also a handset which he operated usaly at the beginning of the show.
We also took part in a concert with Lionel Hampton and took part in a display at the arrival in New York harbour with TV crews present.
Also a special audience with ED Sullivan at his 60's shows.
When we displayed at a show,often people would comment that " there is a man inside" were he then would remove the aluminium front chest and displayed the array
of relays etc…….
Most people would believe that Sabor has a great knowlege of everything,thanks to my dictionary and personal inputs,often I would say my brain is not trained to this question try another one.
Also and unfortunately the Base Station was not shown to the public.
 
RH: I had the impression Gertrud Steuer was Peter's wife, maybe its his daughter.
EL: Yes Mrs.G.Steuer was his wife unfortunately I had no contact with her since 1961.
 
RH: When you were "SABOR", did you talk in a Robotic-like voice  "Hel-lo , how – are – you – to – day?"
EL: My voice was not robotic but just slow motion and depending on the language and pronouced as needed.

RH: what was the material covering SABOR's legs, and were his hands beaten out of aluminium?
EL: The hands and feet(shoes) were in Aluminium,the legs were a very tough thick leather which bound in the back similar to shoe laces in order to get quick access to the batteries.

RH: The picture on the cover of the book "Die Roboter Kommen!". I always thought that was Sabor IV, not V [it is Sabor IV].  Externally, is there someway to tell the difference?
EL: The book " Die Roboter kommen" is mainly Sabor V and unfortunately not many people are still about to tell you more then I can about it. Sabor IV was just a lot less
complicated with a poor quality material, relay radio etc,also the mechanical bits where not good quality and lots had to be replaced or modified.

EL: When I was in the Museum last year [RH-2007] I had to show the administrator how the Robot worked as they had not a clue and we went in to the Archive to find the rest of the utilities i.e. Base Station microphones etc.

EL: P.S. In my later years some of this Robotism must have has an affect on me and I built a fully automatic drinksbar in the shape of Globe with a 110cm diameter.Again you could dial a Number and a certain selected drink would pour in to a glass and the appear at the front of the bar….it would also explain how it works in 4 Languages at the select of a button……but this is another story


Sources and other references:

"Die Roboter Kommen!" - Exhibition catalogue, 2007

QUB Magazine, November 2007.


 1954   SABOR V   Peter Steuer / Eric Lanz [1961 9]   (Swiss)

SABOR's compared – Huber's earlier 1938 SABOR IV on the left, followed by the modifications made by Peter Steuer for SABOR V , then the modifications by Eric Lanz. The far right shows the same internals of SABOR V as modified by Lanz, but externally made to look like an astronaut, and called "Orbitus" at the time. Mechanically, SABOR stayed the same with minor updates.

Externally, SABOR IV is identified by his lack of eye-brows, but more specifically the shorter antennae, being for the ultra-short-wave radio transmitter/receiver. The earlier version of SABOR V externally has a battered body, no eye-brows, and a metal neck, not mesh like the later model.

See SABOR V last version here.


1947 – SABOR V – August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

sabor V  x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

SABOR V – showing battered body (arms), and updated electronics. The Second World War interrupted August Huber's plans to implement a further attempt of his SABOR series. The earlier SABOR IV had good mechanics, but Huber was not happy with the electrical controls. Electrical Engineer Peter Steuer continued  Hubers’ work from his 1947 SABOR IV and developed SABOR V and was responsible for the upgrade to the radio equipment and other electronics. In 1951 SABOR V was now in the ownership of Peter Steuer.

LouisSabor54p2 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Robot Louis Sabor V Woman p1 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Sabor 52 11 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

SABOR V with Peter Steuer getting his batteries charged ready for a show at Hamburg , Germany in 1952.

These pictures are from a larger collection from LIFE magazine.

Sabor 52 28 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

SABOR's head carried separately inside the transport vehicle.

Sabor 52 41 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Sabor 52 49 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

SABOR V being unloaded from the back of the transport vehicle. He was carried vertically on the rear of the van. You can just see the removable cover on the righthand side of the image.

Sabor 52 54 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Bobby Lugano (pictured?) took SABOR V all around Europe, usually in Steuer's absence, and appeared on the television and at other public events. Bobby Lugano (aged 34) was a Magician and Conferencier from Vienna and Paul Watensperger was his behind-the-scenes assistant.  In this image we see SABOR smoking. A strange method in that the cigarette is held in the hand, the hand is usually moved to his mouth, then exhales through his nose. In reality, there is a bellows inside SABOR and a rubber tube from the hand to the bellows to the nose.

SABOR DRKp3 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Sabor remote x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

SABOR V in HAMBURG, 1952, with Paul Watensperger (age 29, from Basel) at the remote controls.

Sabor life p5 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Sabor Linz1952p1 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Sabor Linz1952p2 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Sabor Louis54p1 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

SABOR V, the media called him "Louis" for his 1954 tour. The person in front is possibly Paul Watensperger.

robot sabor 52 1a 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Above: Photographed in Hamburg, Germany on the 10 Aug 1952.

SABORV DRK1954p4 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Paul Watensperger commanded Sabor by a short-wave radio channel. Under the system of telephone pulses using a 1 to 0 , from the dial electric signals generated on the short wave base-station and transmitted to Sabor to a phone center – housed in the chest – and activated a relay system to trigger the reactions of the robot.
There are theoretically 24 movement possibilities and can be combined with each other.  Hands are usually combinations of three or four basic movements. Sabors basic movements come close to a persons.  He can move
* Back and forth,
* Sideways,
* Lift the arms,
* Bend the arms,
* Rotate the head,
* Nod the head,
* Move the lips.
Only on stages does Sabor still have a serious worry: he has no knees. And instead of shoe with soles, he tramples around in the open on three small wheels, one in the toe of the foot and two at the back, so Sabor rolls with a walking movement. The legs also lack knee joints.
The Metropolis-show advertising Sabor announced as "the first robot. … Without the direct monitoring by human movement". 
Its cruising speed is 2.5 kilometers per hour.
If Sabor speaks, he moves his mouth while in rhythm with the voice, but Sabors voice is the voice of his master, which consists of a short-wave loudspeakers in the inside of the body  of the robot.  The speaker is on relays with the movement of the lips mechanism coupled to the electric shocks of consonants responded folding system of the lips.
The following effects are necessary for exhibition purposes.  Sabor can, for example,
* Blink the eyelids,
* Fire a revolver,
* Offer a light for a cigarette, and finally
* Smoke a cigarette.
The robot, however, smokes strangly. He raises his hand with the cigarette to the mouth and blows the smoke from the nose, but in reality it sucks the smoke – but no one sees – from the hand, up the arm to the nose and blowing it out.

SABORV DRKp5 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)


VIDEO CLIP

sabor video 1952 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Gaumont Pathe Archives have a 1952 video of this version of SABOR V. You have to be registered (free) and logged in to see the preview.  Search for "1952 28 8".


SABORV DRKp8 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

SABOR V VW x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Sabor V ap3 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

Sabor V ap4 x640 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)


August Huber was the owner of a well-flourishing textile business, and although SABOR V had passed control to Steuer, Huber was looking to finance another robot, called SABINE, and SABINE was be be an artificial rope dancer, being capable of riding a unicycle on a tightrope. Huber got as far as designing it on paper.  


 1947   SABOR V   August Huber / Peter Steuer (Swiss)

SABOR's compared – Huber's earlier 1938 SABOR IV on the left, followed by the modifications made by Peter Steuer for SABOR V , then the modifications by Eric Lanz. The far right shows the same internals of SABOR V as modified by Lanz, but externally made to look like an astronaut, and called "Orbitus" at the time. Mechanically, SABOR stayed the same.

Externally, SABOR IV is identified by his lack of eye-brows, but more specifically the shorter antennae, being for the ultra-short-wave radio transmitter/receiver. The earlier version of SABOR V externally has a battered body, no eye-brows, and a metal neck, not mesh like the later model.

See SABOR V later version here.


1938 – SABOR IV – August Huber (Swiss)

Sabor IV p1 x640 1938   SABOR IV   August Huber (Swiss)


From “Automata”, Chapuis and Droz. Translated by Alec Reid 1958.

The working of the second robot (Televox was described earlier) is much gentler. It is called “Sabor,” a Swiss giant, the brain-child of Auguste Huber, who brought it into the world in Appenzell.
At the request of a newspaper, Huber himself has thus summarised the “civil status” of his unusual offspring –

  “Name :Sabor IV ; he had three brothers already deceased.
  Place of birth : “Le Buhl” near Niederteufen, Appenzell.
  Son of Auguste Huber.
  Age : 10 years of trial and effort.
  Weight : 500 lbs.
  Height : 7 feet, 4 inches.
  Profession : short-wave robot.”

In fact, Huber has previously built three other automata, one of which he began when he was only 12 years old.  This was made of wood, but even in its primitive form it contained a radio transmitter and receiver.

SABOR II, which was completed in 1930, was much more highly developed. It could sit down, beat a tambour and a big drum, and was controlled by a photo-electric cell. It was sold in Germany and Huber does not know what happened to it.  The construction of SABOR III was faulty, and so it was demolished. Finally, at the beginning of 1938, SABOR IV appeared.

“Its principal motive parts are twenty little electrical appliances. The arrangement of this “nervous system” in the framework was no easy matter. The robot moves on two legs fitted with wheels. One leg takes a pace forward, brakes automatically, and the other then comes forward in its turn. Questions put to the robot are picked up by the microphone (Sabor’s ears) and are immediately sent out by the transmitter (brain) and the lateral antennae to the control centre. The first wave directs Sabor’s words and actions simultaneously, and there is perfect synchronization between the speech coming out of the load-speaker and the movements made by Sabor’s lips. Eight batteries take the place of the “heart” in Sabor, while about 500 yards of electrical wire make up its “blood stream”.

Automata are Huber’s hobby. He is a textile manufacturer by trade, but from time to time he feels himself compelled to yield to the irresistible fascination of mechanics. Perhaps this will lead him one day to give the world a younger brother for Sabor, one even more highly developed.

Sabor’s history is worth telling at some length and reads like a detective story.

In 1938, at the request of an entertainment promoter, Huber brought his mechanical man to England, and Sabor IV was actually exhibited at the Coleseum and at the Albert Hall in London. The inventor, however, had signed a contract, one clause of which was not clear, and he learnt to his horror that the promoter had sold the robot without his knowledge. He got it back only with great difficulty, but then the customs claimed 30,000 Swiss francs from him. Drastic action was required. While Huber himself secretly left London, some of his friends sent the mechanical man to Newhaven, whence it crossed the Channel on a steam trawler. On arrival in France, the metal giant continued its journey home by rail, and in 1939 it made a triumphal entrance at the National Exhibition in Zurich.


SABOR IV Huber Swiss x640 1938   SABOR IV   August Huber (Swiss)

SABOR IV with August Huber.

SABOR IV Frechmag Tout p2Copy x640 1938   SABOR IV   August Huber (Swiss)

August Huber being offered a light by his creation.

SABORV DRKp6 x640 1938   SABOR IV   August Huber (Swiss)

SABOR IV Px1 x640 1938   SABOR IV   August Huber (Swiss)

Sabor IV with August Huber seated at the usually hidden base station as featured in the film "La Féerie des Automates." 

SABOR IV 1938 Copy x640 1938   SABOR IV   August Huber (Swiss)

SABORIV PSApr39 x640 1938   SABOR IV   August Huber (Swiss)

from Popular Science – April, 1939.

sabor IV pmmar1939p347a x640 1938   SABOR IV   August Huber (Swiss)


VIDEO CLIP

A video clip is available from British Movietone, but you need to log in first. Registration is free. Search on 'SABOR'.

 

Film Title: No Title BMN0265 quicktime 75011 356706 25240 1938   SABOR IV   August Huber (Swiss)

   

 
Card Title: NEW ROBOT MAN – NO SOUND
Location: N/A
Date: 04/01/1939
Length: 50 secs
Story Number: 35214
Description: N/A
Shot List: At Berne, in Switzerland, M. Huber demonstrates his latest invention, a robot by the name of "Sabor".
   

 1938   SABOR IV   August Huber (Swiss)

SABOR's compared – Huber's earlier 1938 SABOR IV on the left, followed by the modifications made by Peter Steuer for SABOR V , then the modifications by Eric Lanz. The far right shows the same internals of SABOR V as modified by Lanz, but externally made to look like an astronaut, and called "Orbitus" at the time. Mechanically, SABOR stayed the same.

Externally, SABOR IV is identified by his lack of eye-brows, but more specifically the shorter antennae, being for the ultra-short-wave radio transmitter/receiver.

See SABOR V early version here.


1930 – SABOR II – August Huber (Swiss)

SABOR II Huber x640 1930   SABOR II   August Huber (Swiss)

From “Automata”, Chapuis and Droz. Translated by Alec Reid 1958.

“Sabor II,” a Swiss giant, the brain-child of Auguste Huber, who brought it into the world in Appenzell, Switzerland.

Prior to Sabor IV, Huber had previously built three other automata, one of which he began when he was only 12 years old.  This was made of wood, but even in its primitive form it contained a radio transmitter and receiver.

SABOR II, which was completed in 1930, was much more highly developed. It could sit down, beat a tambour and a big drum, and was controlled by a photo-electric cell. It was sold in Germany and Huber does not know what happened to it.  The construction of SABOR III was faulty, and so it was demolished. Finally, at the beginning of 1938, SABOR IV appeared.
Automata are Huber’s hobby. He is a textile manufacturer by trade, but from time to time he feels himself compelled to yield to the irresistible fascination of mechanics. "

Another report suggests that the first three Sabors were all destroyed.

See post on SABOR IV here.