1955 – Electronic Mouse Maze Solver – Harry Rudloe (American)

The original article appeared in Scientific American, The Amateur Scientist,  An Electronic Mouse That Learns From Experience by Harry Rudloe, 1955 Mar, pg 116 .

This copy from C. L. Stong.  The Amateur Scientist.  Ill. by Roger Hayward.  S&S, 1960.  The Electronic Mouse That Learns From Experience, pp. 394-398.  Harry Rudloe describes a relay circuit for solving a simple maze being his variation of Claude Shannon's celebrated robot. See pdf here.

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2 Responses to “1955 – Electronic Mouse Maze Solver – Harry Rudloe (American)”

  1. Duncan Sargent Kirkwood Says:

    I recall in 1954 or 1955, when my family lived in Wantage Berkshire UK, we watched a BBC Television early evening live broadcast which demonstrated an electronic mouse. However, it was more like a large rat in size probably about one foot long, white, oval dome shaped and with small wheels. All BBC TV programmes in those days were 'live broadcasts'. I was either 7 or 8 years of age; the television had a small probably 12 inch screen which was considered to be large at that time. I was fascinated by the 'mouse' but I recall it was actually called a 'brain' and it had the ability to navigate around obstacles. The obstacles were bricks placed on the studio floor. I assume the brain was battery powered. After being set in motion across the studio floor the brain collided with the bricks but then as if by magic it backed off and changed direction until it collided with another brick – whence it changed direction again – and eventually succeeded in navigating from one side of the studio to the other before 'turning ' and navigating back again. And I recall approximately 20 years ago the same 'electronic brain' was reviewed in a historical context in New Scientist magazine. I did not buy the magazine but I think the front cover featured a photo of the 'brain' as a taster to the article inside and I recognised its dome shape and small wheels. Over the past 59 years I have often thought about that electronic brain; it made such a strong and lasting impression on me in my formative years. I have navigated to this website this evening after trying to find out more about that device. I am involved in a forum discussion elsewhere about artificial intelligence and singularity … and needed some proof of AI being a mid 20th C phenomenon … but now I realise that another electronic brain device predates the one I saw all those years ago. Best wishes Duncan Sargent Kirkwood

  2. cyberne1 Says:

    The “mouse” or “brian” you refer to is actually Grey Walter’s “Tortoise”. See http://cyberneticzoo.com/cyberneticanimals/w-grey-walter-and-his-tortoises/