1966 – Able Mabel – Meredith Thring (British)
A prop for a Tomorrow's World segment in 1966 showing what Robots would be like in 1976. Although some parts appear to be electrically controlled (e.g. the popping eyes which are connected to the antenna 'ears'). the black slot is probably for the hidden operator to see what they are doing. The arms are retractable and swing back into the body, and appear to be controlled by the hidden operator. The re-charging capability is a mock-up, and for accuracy when plugging in the film is run in reverse.
Source: Tomorrow's World: Genius Gadgets and Gizmos: Weird and Wonderful … By David Stubbs, 2008One of the first robots to feature on Tomorrow's World was 'Abel Mabel', designed by the magnificiently named Professor Meredith Thring in 1966. 'Begin your day with Able Mabel,' trilled the overvoice. 'Shell run your bath to the exact temperature she knows you'll like, she'll make your bed and lay out your clothes for another day, free from household drudgery, free from time-wasting chores like vacuum cleaning.'
Able Mabel, however, was not so much an existing metal entity as a hopeful projection, a twinkle in Professor Thring's eye.