Check out my list of books about robots and automata over at Lithub, and take a listen to my playlist over at Largehearted Boy. Here are a few videos to take you into some of the real automata and robots behind the poems in Oh You Robot Saints! (Carnegie Mellon UP 2021).
“Monk Automaton c. 1560.” This monk automaton housed at the Smithsonian graces the cover of my book, where he is stripped down and x-rayed! Watch him move in his robes here.
“The Silver Swan.” The most beautiful robot creature of all times has got to be the Silver Swan, housed at the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, UK. This 18th century creature moves its neck as gracefully as the real thing when hunting fish made of glass.
“Ode to the Robobee.” Here come the robobees! Roboticists at Harvard are working on a colony of these tiny winged robots.
This 17th century German tortoise knows how to move.
“Not Everybody Else’s Bestiary (Yet).” On the list of things you could encounter in the ocean in the near future is the Octobot, the world’s first soft-bodied robot, which is made out of silicone and can move through water.
“Not Everybody Else’s Bestiary (Yet).” Meanwhile, this snake robot can move on land and in water. (Would you rather encounter these or real snakes on a plane?)
“Robot Priest, Japan, c. 2019.” Meet one of the newer robot priests (yes, there are others!), Mindar.
Cute or creepy? You decide: the unforgettable Rabbit in a Cabbage, an 1895 creation by Roullet & Decamps.
“Imagined Love Letter to Bina48.” Human Bina Rothblatt interacts with her humanoid counterpart in this video.
“Mechanical Birds.” Singing robot birds have been around for possibly thousands of years. Watch this little French bird who has been singing its song since 1870:
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