Once the Saku is mass produced !
Tags: Automaton, Drone, Fresno Bee, Futura, Future Warfare, Gakutensoku, Gigantic Robots, H. G. Wells, Hephaestus, Hisashige Tanaka, Homer, Iliad, Karel Capek, Mars, Mass production, Rossum's Universal Robots, Saku, Sei bereit, Talos, The War of the Worlds, Zi
Readers of the Fresno Bee may have choked on their ham and eggs when they opened the paper on a Thursday morning in 1934.
Under the headline, “Gigantic robots, controlled by wireless, to fight our battles”, the Californian paper ran a sensational – and terrifying – story about the impending future of warfare. The article detailed a talk in Paris by French scientist and military engineer Professor [Felix Gaston] Gauthier in which he disclosed that “two pacifistic-minded nations” were “secretly (and supposedly unknown to each other) planning to construct gigantic fighting robots.”
“These mechanical soldiers,” declared Professor Gauthier, “will be of unexampled proportions. My informants, whose authentic statements I have never had reason to question before, have conveyed to me the startling news that each of these nations hopes someday to build robots 1,000 feet high!”
The piece went on to describe how these machines “could crush the largest and most powerful war tank ever built by merely stamping on it”. And, in case readers were stills struggling to imagine the size and power of these mechanical beasts, the newspaper ran a clarifying picture of two of them fighting – one raising a mace over its head ready to deliver a final blow to another automaton, which is lying on the ground amidst the wreck of buildings and tanks. The caption reads: “In the event that the two 1,000-foot-tall enemy robots ever come face-to-face they will pound each other with their might, square iron fists, kick with their great steel legs and struggle to destroy each other while skyscrapers all around them fall to the ground”. Quite how these machines were to be built with the technology of the day was a minor detail.
Robot history: The rise of the drone, BBC, Matt Novak, 4 April 2012