1964 – Jayson the Robot – (New Zealand)
Jayson the robot, named after the Jaycee organisation he was built for, it is said to be built from aluminium sheeting, with flashing lights and built-in sound effects, it is operated by an electronic control panel worn by its attending master. Whilst appearing to be a man in a suit, further study suggest that the legs are much longer than even a tall person, and is probably the only moving part of the robot. The arms appear rigid as it required 2 people to hold it steady whilst walking. The football kicking action is most likely a carefully positioned and staged walking action.
Source: Gisborne No 119 May 21, 1964
To help publicise their second Industries Fair next month, the Gisborne Jaycees have acquired the services of a giant mechanical robot. Built from aluminium sheeting, with flashing lights and built-in sound effects, it is operated by an electronic control panel worn by its attending master.
The robot has been seen out on trial jaunts in the Mangapapa area, but will make its first official public appearance in Gladstone Road tomorrow (Friday, 22nd May). As the robot has kept its identity a secret, the Jaycees are going to hold a competition to find a suitable name for their mechanical friend.
See top photo: Children accompany the robot on one of its recent outings
Jaycee Mike Brittenden operating the controls
Source: Gisborne No 120 June 18, 1964
Robot Hits Town
The Gisborne Jaycee Industries Fair Committee's giant mechanical robot hit town on a recent Friday night.
Walking Gladstone Road, the robot soon acquired a large crowd of followers, who swarmed around it during its journey.
The following night, it appeared at the American gridiron demonstration at the Childers Road Reserve, where it kicked off the second half of the game.
Complete with police escort, the robot makes its way down Gladstone Road with its attendants, Pat Brosnan, Mike Brittenden, Sob Knight, and Mike Dywer, working hard to keep the curious onlookers at bay.
Assisted by Bevan Wright, Bob Knight, and Mike Brittenden, the robot kicks off at the gridiron game.
Guiding the mechanical man up to the football
Source: Gisborne No 121 July 16, 1964
Happy boy on the bicycle is Bruce Crosby, ten-year-old son of Mr and Mrs G. Crosby, 101 Lytton Road, who won the bike, valued at £25, when he won the Jaycee Industries Fair "name the robot" competition. Bruce named the robot "Jayson".
Source: Gisborne No 233 November 7, 1973
The Gisborne Jaycee Chapter held a Publicity Day recently in the old J. N. Berry shop in Gladstone Road. A display and record of past, present and future projects drew much interest, and gave the public a good idea of just how much the movement does in the way of community work.
Two future Jaycee members, Michael and Andrew Shand, have doubts about the proximity of the robot which was one of the big attractions at the Industries Fair of 1964.
Article sourced from here.
After discussion with my friend David Buckley, I agree that this robot is most likely a "man-in-a-suit". The legs are broard enough to accommodate human feet, possibly on stilts. The remote-control is there most likely to add to the illusion.
See the complete list of early Mechanical Men and Robots here.