Robert the Robot with box packaging and gun-shaped controller

Made:
1955 in United States
Robert the Robot with packaging, 1955, Ideal, USA.  Hand and Machine Tools. Robert the Robot with packaging, 1955, Ideal, USA.  Hand and Machine Tools. Robert the Robot with packaging, 1955, Ideal, USA.  Hand and Machine Tools.

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Robert the Robot with packaging, 1955, Ideal, USA. Hand and Machine Tools.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Robert the Robot with packaging, 1955, Ideal, USA. Hand and Machine Tools.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Robert the Robot with packaging, 1955, Ideal, USA. Hand and Machine Tools.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Robert the Robot with box packaging and gun-shaped controller, manufactured by Ideal Home Electrical Appliances Ltd., USA, 1955

Robert the Robot was the first plastic toy robot to be manufactured in the USA. It was made using injection moulding, making it cheaper than earlier metal robots, and produced in large quantities/ the robot was extremely popular, with a remote control that allowed it to speak, and battery-powered lights in the eyes. Robert was being marketed in advance of the application of robots to manufacturing applications, demonstrating the capability of science fiction to pre-empt developments in the real world of science and technology - a recurring tenet of the history of robots.

Details

Category:
Human Robotics
Object Number:
2015-403
Materials:
cardboard, metal (unknown) and plastic (unidentified)
type:
toy - recreational artefact
taxonomy:
  • components
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • furnishing and equipment