Eric, the UK’s first humanoid robot, could be resurrected after the Science Museum launched its first-ever crowdfunding campaign to fund its rebuild.
However, the iconic London museum has a few weeks to raise a minimum of £35,000 by mid-June.
The original aluminum clad 45 kg Eric was built in 1928 by WH Richards and AH Reffell. The main purpose of the robot was to open the annual exhibition of the association of model engineers that same year.
Eric was able to stand up and move his arms and head. The robot had lightbulbs for eyes and blue electric sparks flew out of its mouth when Eric “speaked.” Eric caused a stir in the UK, before the robot went around the world. It disappeared without a trace, the Science Museum said.
If the Kickstarter campaign succeeds, the new version of Eric is promised to be built within months. The robot is then expected to be shown to the public in October of this year. Soon after, Eric will be a part of it robots— a new exhibition that the museum plans to launch in February 2017.
The exhibition – supported by a £100,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund – will showcase a collection of more than 100 robots built over the last 500 years, we’re told. Visitors can also interact with about 12 working robots.
“This exhibition explores the unique human obsession with recreating ourselves, not with paint or marble but with metal,” said Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum Group. “Seeing robots through the eyes of those who built them or staring at them in awe reveals much about humanity’s hopes, fears and dreams.”
The robots exhibition runs from February 8 to September 3, 2017 at the Science Museum.