Matt McIrvin's Steam-Operated World of Yesteryear

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This brings back memories, I remember having at least two books about robots when I was a kid that mentioned Quasar. I didn't have the book in the link, I think one of them was "The Look and Learn Book of Robots" or something. I was obsessed with robots when I was a kid (still am!) and used to read about them all the time. I was in awe of Quasar because it seemed so advanced compared to other robots!

I dimly remember lots of molded plastic shells that didn't do much if anything. I was fascinated by Androbot because it looked like it ran on two wheels (I didn't even know about the caster wheel) but it didn't have any arms.

Also, my mind was blown by seeing this in a magazine somewhere, but I haven't been able to come up with much in the way of information about Ben Skora or "AROK".

There seem to have been a lot of robots that were capable of posing with a vacuum cleaner in a still picture.

Ben Skora and Arok are real...

Late reply, I know - but both of them are real; Arok is basically a cobbled-together robot using various bits of junk and such, radio-control gear, tape players/recorders for various stuff (I think there's some taped program control, like the Tomy Omnibot series used). All in all, a very impressive machine for the time, built by an interesting individual. His house is shaped like a UFO (Skora custom built it) - very retro (but futuristic at the time!). A few years back, they had a special about him on some home program on TLC (or some such channel) - the program was one of those "strange and weird houses" specials (I never saw the episode, but I heard that the robot still works!). This all isn't to say that the robot was sophisticated or such, but it certainly shows off a certain inventive "mad" genius!

I think I had that book too. Even as a kid, I thought the name "Maid Without Tears" was indescribably creepy; to say nothing of the fetished-out gynoid itself...seemingly forever bound to the kitchen by long, draping wires. Huh. "without tears," my shiny metal ass.

Also, I love how the TV is so tiny. We may not have butlerbots but our TV's are fucking HUGE.

Creepier still: you can still hire the Miss Honeywell act for your trade-show spiel. It sounds as if it's basically the same shtick.

I have vague memories of something very similar to the Robotic Woman trick showing up in Ib Melchior's The Time Travelers, a low-budget 1964 science-fiction movie with the unusual distinction of having several of its special effects done on set with stage-magic gimmicks.

Garco here appeared on Science Fiction Theater at some point and probably partially inspired one of my "Scientifiction Playhouse" vignettes.

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