1951 – Dynamo Joe – (British)

Robot Cyclist will Ride the Streets.
A robot cyclist named Dynamo Joe, capable of propelling himself unaided through the streets has been built by students of Bristol University Engineering Department as the main attraction of the University's Rag Week, which begins Wednesday 28th February 1951. The robot's body is made from a 10-gallon oil drum, his face from a seven-pound milk tin. Legs and arms are of angle iron.
A complicated system of pulleys and gear wheels is driven by three half-horsepower electric motors. Joe pedals both forward and backward, steers (even round corners), turns his head and waves his free hand.. A "directional aerial" emits inch-long sparks, but this has no effect on Joe's course, which is determined by controls set before he begins his ride. The robot can also talk and will solicit donations to charity from the public.
Picture shows finishing touches to Dynamo Joe by 21-year-old Frank Thorpe (left), third year electrical engineering student, and Alistair Day, also 21, third-year civil engineering student, in Bristol. 22nd February 1951.

Film Clip:

Dynamo Joe – Bristol Student's Rag Week 1951 – 2 seconds at start of film clip BRISTOL STUDENTS' RAG http://www.movietone.com

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