Tag Archives: Animatronic

Collecting robots on postcards – 7 – “Robots-Music”

The band known as “Robots-Music”

I have two interesting old French postcards in my collection which show a robot band. Thanks to YouTube, I have been able to find the film shown at the bottom of this entry, of the band playing in their last ever recorded concert when they reformed briefly in April 2007.

This is the text from the back of the black and white postcard:

Robots-Music black and white postcard“ROBOTS-MUSIC” Attraction sensationnelle de l’Exposition itinérante de la F.N.C.P.G. L’orchestre-robot à télécommande intégrale est composé de trois musiciens qui exécutent eux-mȇmes sur leurs instruments les partitions les plus variées, transmises par leur cerveau électronique. – Tous leurs mouvements sont automatiquement synchronisés. – Plusieurs années ont été nécessaires pour assurer la mise au point parfaite que vous avez admiré et que cette photo vous rappellera.

 

This is the text from the back of the colour postcard:

Robots-Music colour postcardL’orchestre robot à télécommande intégrale est composé de trois musiciens qui exécutent eux-mȇmes sur leurs instruments les partitions les plus variées, transmises par leur cerveau électronique. Tous leurs mouvements sont automatiquement synchronisés. Accordéoniste: 68 notes; saxophoniste: 48 notes dont trois octaves; batteur: tous les mouvements possibles et imaginables. Plusieurs années ont été nécessaires pour assurer la mise au point parfaite que vous avez admirée et que cette photo vous rappellera.

The following information has been put together from the YouTube page:

We are the robots! Oskar plays the accordion, Ernest plays the saxophone and Anatole is the drummer. Edouard R. Diomgar developed the idea for his robots while being held as a prisoner of war in a German camp. After his release he started work on this project. “Les Robots-music”, an electric/pneumatic machine, playing real instruments. The robots toured from 1958 to 1984, as the “Union of French Prisoners of War”, and could be seen in France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. They have a repertoire of about 500 songs. The rare piece of film below was shot at Museum fuer Kommunikation, Berlin, on 14th April, 2007, where they could be seen gigging for the first time in 23 years. I wonder where they are today?

The postcard backs:

Robots-Music black and white postcard - back

 

Robots-Music colour postcard - back

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Fear of Robots

Robot at 10 Downing StreetShould we fear robots? They haven’t taken charge of the country yet (as far as we know) even though for many years they have been taking our jobs. Just think about the number of people that used to be employed on production lines. When I first left school, I spent three months working in a factory that made suitcases. There was very little automation back in the 1970s, so it took a large number of people to carry out all the work, one stage at a time.

I searched the internet for “fear of robots” and found the following examples. No doubt there are more, but if the robot age – which we are certainly at the start of now – brings a time of peace, leisure, space exploration and learning for the human race, then why should we fear robots at all? The most important thing we should remember is the location of their “off” switch!

Automatonophobia
A fear of anything that falsely represents a sentient being. This includes ventriloquist dummies (which I can well understand), animatronic creatures, mannequins, and wax statutes. I would not normally be concerned about a visit to Madame Tussauds, but can you imagine being there after it closed, armed with just a torch?

Frankenstein complex
A term coined by Isaac Asimov in his robot novels for the fear of mechanical men.

Robophobia
An anxiety disorder in which the sufferer has an irrational fear of robots, drones, robot-like mechanics or artificial intelligence. This can result in a panic attack triggered by just viewing a robot or being near one.

Technophobia
The fear of advanced technology or complex devices.

Uncanny Valley
The best definition I have found for this is from http://www.urbandictionary.com:
First theorised by Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970, the Uncanny Valley basically states that the closer a robot or other nonhuman entity gets to resembling a human, the more humans will like and empathise with it. However, there is a point in development where humans instead become strongly repulsed by the barely-human robot/entity.

Here is a short video with a bit more information:

This is the stuff of nightmares

So far on this blog I have really only included “nice” robots. The movies and some modern works of fiction like to depict robots as evil, something that is about to do away with the human race, or just enslave us – ignoring Asimov’s famous three laws of robotics.

I have to warn you, if you decide to view the following video, that you might not be able to forget it – and you probably will want to forget it.

I am a bit late finding out about this monster. It is not really a robot, more correctly it is described as an animatronic. But it does have the ability to make eye contact with you if you are in the same room as it.

In March this year, artist Jordan Wolfson exhibited his scary robotic dancer in New York. Hopefully this is not a glimpse of the future adult entertainment scene (but I am afraid to say that I think it might be).