Posts Tagged ‘Polish’

1901-3 – Walking Lunar Vehicle (Science Fiction) – Jerzy Zulawski (Polish)

Some of these early concepts for lunar exploration had elements of practicality; others were pure whimsy. One of the first, by Polish science-fiction writer Jerzy Zulawski (1874-1915), fell into the first category. His rover design appeared as an illustration in his 1901 tale "Szrebyym Globie" ["On the Silver Globe"] and featured full pressurization, electrical power, and two forms or propulsion: large, spoked wheels that could be interchanged with leg or "claws" mounted on a triangular framework that would be used to climb up mountains or travel over rough terrain. Zulawski's invention, like Boeing's real lunar rover, had a top speed of about 10 miles per hour. He also realised, like those who would follow his footsteps, that combustion engines wouldn't work on the airless Moon, and instead, chose to power his vehicle with an electric motor, and like most later concepts of Lunar Rovers, Zulawski's was a big vehicle with an enclosed cabin. His, he said, could carry a crew of five and a year's worth of supplies.
Zulawski's story was originally a serialisation starting in 1901, later published as a book in 1903.

See all the known Steam Men and early Walking Machines here.

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1966 – “The Torun Robot” – Marian Jasnoch (Polish)

March 15,1966 "The Torun Robot" – Torun, Poland, is famous for the Gingerbread Man  and now a robot. Marian Jasnoch, a young electrical engineer has been working on this robot since 1962. The robot can answer a phone, convey a few simple sentences, record messages, nurse a baby, clean a room, Bake a cake in an electrical cooker, act as a waiter, play an instrument, sing, walk and move its head, eyes and hands.

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1968 – Artificial Muscle Bioprosthesis – (Polish)

Modell einer Bioprothese mit künstlichem Muskel pneumatischer Art. Der Muskel besteht aus einem Gummirohr, in dessen Wände längs der Mantellinie nichtdehnbare Fäden angeordnet wurden. An den Enden sind die Gummikörper mit Endstücken zur Befestigung und Luftzuführung abgeschlossen. Beim Aufblasen des Muskels mit Druckluft verkürzt er sich und erzeugt damit eine Bewegung.

English translation

Model consists of a bioprosthesis with artificial muscle pneumatic type, the muscle of a rubber tube in the walls of which were along the generatrix of inextensible filaments arranged. At the ends of the rubber body with end pieces for fastening and air supply are completed. Shortened upon inflation of the muscle with compressed air thus producing a movement.

Source: Golems Enkel – Stefan Hesse 1988 (1986)

Bioprosthesis Robot Model

Pneumatic Bioprosthesis from Warsaw, Poland, 1968. Image source: Getty images

Further information sought on this arm. Please contact or leave a comment.

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1972-4 – Laser-Chromason Mk II – J. S. Ostoja-Kotkowski (Polish-Australian)

Not quite an "art robot", but Kotkowski's Laser Chromason Mark II impressed me greatly in 1974 in terms of Electronic art and Laser art. Its design even has a robotic look about it.

The above images sourced from here, and flipped for correct orientation.

Vol 68 No. 1, 2009.

Light Becomes the Medium — Stephen Jones

…. But Ostoja-Kotkowski wanted to paint with light and it was his discovery of lasers that set his course for the following years. In 1967 he received a Churchill Fellowship and travelled to the United States and Europe where he had the opportunity to take in much of the kinetic art of the time and consider new approaches. He tried out the electronic music studio in Utrecht, Holland, and visited Stanford University in California, where he witnessed experiments using lasers. In an interview with Melbourne Herald science writer Frank Campbell, he explained his interest in the laser, remarking that: ‘No matter how beautifully one paints a sunset it will not be as beautiful as the light of the real sunset. But the light of a laser can give the radiance and the brilliance that paints cannot.’

Ostoja-Kotkowski’s first public use of a laser was in his 1968 Sound and Image (with support from scientists at the Weapons Research Establishment Laser Laboratory in Salisbury, South Australia). He beamed the laser patterns onto a large rear-projection screen by directing them through pieces of distorted glass assembled onto rotating discs so that they refracted the beams of the ruby-red helium-neon laser and the brilliant blue-green argon-ion laser as the program’s rhythm or his interpretation of the music suggested.

Ostoja-Kotkowski was awarded an ANU Creative Arts Fellowship in 1971. With the considerable assistance of the staff of the ANU’s Research School of Physical Sciences workshops, in particular Terry McGee, an electronic technician, he developed a new set of sound-to-light devices, the Laser-Chromasons, which consisted in two small helium-neon lasers as well as six lamps of various colours housed in a 60-cm sphere of translucent perspex. In the base of the device, inputs from a microphone, a synthesiser or tape-recorder were divided up with a set of filters and then assigned to circuits that controlled the brightness of the lamps, whose light was reflected from rotating wavy mirrors, or that vibrated mirrors from which the lasers were reflected.[28] Essentially they show fields of colour shifting and dissolving across a translucent screen pierced by the intense striations of shutter-modulated red laser light…..

S. Ostoja-Kotkowski, ‘The medium is not the message’, Hemisphere, vol. 15, no. 12, December 1971, pp. 18–24; and S. Ostoja-Kotkowski, ‘Audio-kinetic art with laser beams and electronic systems’, Leonardo, vol. 8, 1975, pp. 142–4.


Back in 1974 I made some sketches as I wanted to know how it worked and maybe one day build one. (I never did!)

————————– transparency insert below ————-

Realities 1974 catalogue. (Personal collection)

A 2-page handout from Realities Gallery from 1974. (personal collection)

A rare picture showing both Mark I and Mark II Laser-Chromason's.

Source: Electronics Today International, January 1973 .

Related Material:

Catalogue. (Source: Personal collection)

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1959 – “CUPEL” the Cybernetic Tortoise – Andrzej Harland (Polish)

 "CUPEL"  by Andrzej Harland

The only text I've seen on this tortoise / turtle is from a Canadian film clip found here :
Unfortunately there is no preview of the film clip.

CANADA: TURTLE    Clip Description:

Story: Eureka…
Such a star was never seen in our TV.
Something between fancy, jike and magic – in short cybernetics. This animal is fed with light from an ordinary flashlight. It won't let be deceived and finds always its way to food. Constructor of the artificial turtle is a young engineer from Warsaw, Andrzej Harland.
The spectators of the TV liked this toy, but it aroused consternation in the world of animals…Its the fault of the tail…A shrewd, dishonest trick…
The dog Saboia told us that an accumulator, a sensitized cell and a bit of wire are not enough to make a playmate.

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