Posts Tagged ‘1952’

1952 – Deep-Sea Diving Robot – Al Mikalow (American)


TREASURE HUNTING ROBOT-A 1,500 pound diving robot is checked over by diver Al Mikalow (right) and Paul Ilsley, a diving instructor at Mikalow's diving school in Oakland, Calif. Mikalow intents to dive in the robot later this summer in a search for treasure which legend says lies waiting in the Rio de Janiero, which sank in the Golden Gate entrance to San Francisco Bay, in 1901. Source: Press photo June 1961.


Photo: Carlos Domingues via




December 2000

Mikalow – 1952 (United States)

During a period of history considered by many to be a gap in the development of the atmospheric diving suit, Alfred A. Mikalow, once director and owner of the Coastal School of Deep Sea Diving, in Oakland, California, designed and built an atmospheric diving suit (Figure 16). His suit, employing ball and socket joints, was built for the purpose of locating and salvaging sunken treasure. The suit was reportedly capable of diving to depths of 1,000 feet and was used successfully to dive on the sunken vessel, City of Rio de Janeiro, in 328 feet of water near Fort Point, San Francisco, California (Rieseberg, 1965).

The Mikalow had several interchangeable instruments that could be attached in place of the usual manipulators at the end of the arms. The "deep-sea diving robot", as it was called in Fell's Guide to Sunken Treasure Ships of the World [1st 1965], carried seven 90 cubic feet high-pressure cylinders to provide the breathing gas and control the buoyancy. The ballast compartment covered the air cylinders and opened at the bottom near the diver's legs. The suit used hydrophones as its primary means of communication with the surface and powerful searchlights were attached to the head and arms.

Note: Although Thornton dates this suit at 1952, the first press articles don't appear until 1961.

See other early Underwater Robots here.

1952 – Stewart Automatic Lawn Mower – Sterling Stewart (American)

1952 – Stewart Automatic Lawn Mower by Sterling Stewart


Seattle: Sterling Stewart of Sioux City, IA., a graduate science student at the University of Washington, isn't lazy in the true sense of the word. He's able to relax with a cold drink while his lawn is mowed only because he had the ambition to invent a remote control gadget to do the job.  The lawn mower, called "The Monster" by the neighbors, was built  from salvage parts at a cost of $7. The machine, electrically controlled by a push button box at the end of a 75 ft cord, has a rotary blade and weighs 100 lbs. Dated 6/10/1952. 

See other early remote-controlled and robotic lawn mowers here.

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1952 – Remote Controlled Lawn Mower (Patent) – Barton G. Siebring (American)

Remote Controlled Lawn Mower (Patent) – Barton G. Siebring

Patent Abstract:

This invention relates to power operated lawn mowers and more particularly to a power operated lawn mower equipped for remote control, so that the operator does not have to follow and guide the lawn mower, but can control the lawn mower without moving from a selected location.

It is among the objects of the invention to provide an improved power operated lawn mower which can be effectively controlled by an operator stationed at a selected location, so that the operator does not have to follow and guide the lawn mower; which can be controlled to move forwardly or rearwardly and to turn in either direction; which has electrically operated driving and control mechanism of simplified construction and arrangement; and which is simple and durable in construction, economical to manufacture, easy to operate, and positive and effective in operation.

For full patent info, see here.

Publication number US2698507 A
Publication date Jan 4, 1955
Filing date Dec 30, 1952
Priority date Dec 30, 1952
Inventor Siebring Barton G

See other early remote-controlled and robotic lawn mowers here.


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1952 – Meccano Giant Walking Dragline – (British)

There are various websites that contain the full pdf of Meccano Instruction manuals and Meccano Magazines. You can download them from .


An early model from 1975.

See also Wes Dalefield's excellent site on the Meccano Giant Walking Dragline here

See real Walking Draglines and illustrations on the walking mechanism here.

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1952-> Gyro Gearloose Walking Inventions – Carl Barks (American)

"Gyro Gearloose" walking inventions featured here appeared in comics from 1967 owards, I believe.

From Wiki: Gyro Gearloose is a fictional character, an anthropomorphic chicken created by Carl Barks for The Walt Disney Company. He is part of the Scrooge McDuck universe, appearing in comic book stories as a friend of Donald Duck, Scrooge and anyone who is associated with them. He was also a frequent star of the animated DuckTales. He first appeared in the Carl Barks comic Gladstone's Terrible Secret (Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #140), May 1952.

 "The Engineer in Full Gear".

In Germany there was an exhibition where models of Gyro Gearloose's inventions were created.  Here's a selected extract from the catalogue that was produced.

Artificial rooster, chicken, cow, donkey and horse.

Not an Artificial Cow, but an Artificial Donkey.


"Tin Towser"

Boot Wheeled Scooter.

Not walking, but hopping…

Not Gyro Gearloose, but Goofy showing off his automatic lawnmower.

In the 1980s the Donald Duck cartoons featured more modern walking machines….

Octopus Painting Robot.

Walking Bathtub

 Walking Trash Can getting to the pavement on time.

See other Walking Wheels at the bottom of the Walking Machines page.

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