Amazing 60 year old robot dog is a mystery

The robot dog you see above is a mystery. [Daneil Dennet], a professor of philosophy at Tufts University found this in an antique shop in Paris.  Apparently it has no identification and no one has been able to tell him anything about it. It was made in the 50s, and that seems to be all he knows. He’s offering a reward to whomever can reveal its secrets. There’s a full gallery of pictures to browse through that reveal some of the construction, but not a whole lot of the function.

We are just blown away by the construction here. Look at all those switches! Can you imagine how easy to reverse engineer things would have been back then? Surely in the right hands, someone could get this thing working again. Then again [Daniel] might like it kept completely original. If you know something about this robot, you can find [Daniel]’s contact information here.

Oh, and yes, we realize it looks just like k-9.

106 thoughts on “Amazing 60 year old robot dog is a mystery

  1. I agree that it must be functional (at least I hope so). The amount of detail in the wiring and the presence of the transistors (expensive at the time) say to me that it does something.

    As for the voltage requirements, the drive motor is an automotive windshield wiper motor, which would say to me that it runs on either 6 or 12v DC, probably from a lead-acid battery.

    I would be dying to give up my free time, take a meter to this thing and write a schematic. Somebody’s gotta do it…

  2. “Can you imagine how easy it would have been to engineer things back then.”

    I don’t want to be that guy, but you truly missed the point here, by about 1000 miles.

    People CREATED things back then, they didn;t take someone elses work and “hack” or reverse engineer it. because it didn’t exist. What you are looking at here, is pure genius and talent, not something built by a hack.

    1. REVERSE engineer. Referring to the lack of etched boards, SMT, integrated circuits and other such complexities. And yes, it would have been exceedingly easy to reverse engineer electronics as rugged and bulky as RetroPooch here.

  3. Looking at this and not spotting one microchip, but about 40 switches… with built mechanical functions that are quite complex, including a very small hydraulic part, My guess is this was made by an engineer who took a mild interest in electronics rather then the other way round, This robot needs an arduino hooked up to all of those switches and it would be a machine of war!

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