From Popular Science, 1931 (Via Mostly Forbidden Zone)
Why did the US Government not hire Howard Stark then?
I’m curious how this was done with 1930s technology?
Pre-WW2 Voice-recognition? I call shenanigans. I’m betting on a hidden, marionette-operating accomplice nearby.
Word recognition in 1931? I don’t buy that at all. I could imagine him building something that responds to sounds in general, like ‘The Clapper’. Any sound would start the ‘handshake’. Another would stop it. By using the telephone handset as the microphone he ensures the only sound his circuit ‘hears’ is his voice, completing the illusion that it is his words that control the robot and not just a simple vox circuit.
Maybe multiple commands could even be achieved this way. Just have an amplifier stage, followed by a filter stage (like a speaker crossover) followed by multiple vox circuits, one for each crossover output. Then he could send different commands by varying the pitch of his voice.
Far more likely this was either a ‘Mechanical Turk’ or the article is a hoax entirely.
Is it April already?
Forget all the semantic arguments about sci-tech and the time period, that is one seriously BADASS looking robot! I’m heading out to the woodshed….
The 60s toy Robot Commando had a “voice-activation” scheme that involved pre-setting the action on the remote, then shouting into the “mic” to trigger it. Of course, it looks like it’s obeying voice commands in the commercial, which is all that matters.
Or perhaps the young inventor merely sealed Bugs the dog inside Bugs the robot.
Why do I suspect we don’t have the full and true story here?
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