Vintage Robots: Top Five 18th Century Automata (VIDEO) (PICTURES)

Vintage Robots: Top Five 18th Century Automata (VIDEO) (PICTURES)

Given our own pitiful attempts to create robots that do anything useful - besides run restaurants and plot the destruction of mankind - it's hard not to think of them as anything other than a wistful futurist's dream.

But in fact robots have been around for longer than you'd think.

Even in the 18th century - more than 200 years ago - inventors were tinkering with automata. And they still look surprisingly realistic.

Those machines were able to write, draw, speak, play chess and perform music - even if they were mainly produced for wealthy patrons and had no ability to 'think' like some more modern machines.

Watching these vintage robots is just another reminder that even in robotics, the ingenuity of people who make them is the thing most worth celebrating.

Take a look at our five favourites, below.


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