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The Two- Ton Robot Suddenly Developed a "Mind" of Its Own

and Wounded the Inventor Who Feared It Would "Get Him

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Harry May, the English Inventor of "Alpha," the Robot GoBirian, Lights a Pipe for
the Walking, TaBcins, and Newspaper-Reading Mechanical * -n. s

f^Sli derstand why he fixed before I gave the

proper signal."
Far from discouraged, Mr. May will
disaster. However, if the unexplained
conda-ct of Alpha is any fair test, the
mechanical men do develop- minds and
continue his interesting work. But it wills of their own.
was not announced whether target prac- Writers have long; played' with th.«
tice for Alpha would be included hence- idea of robots. Edgar Allan- Poe—that
forth in his. regular routine.
Perhaps in future exhibitions, May great master of the weird and evil
•will advertise the monster's appearance school offiction—penneda tale about a
with a sign,, reading "No gwn. play by chess automaton!. And Ambrose Bierce,
Alpha. By special request of tHe au- whose fate today remains as mysterious
dience." as any short story he ever wrote, was
For several years now robots and me- the author of a terrible tale of a robot
probably saved his chanical men have been one of the most
life, for thefiredpro-interesting developments of electrical poker player who killed his master for
jectile shattered the science. H. G. Wells, the acted British cheating.
ghastly, blue s p o t - inventor's right hand author, was one of the first to look into A sensation on the American stage a
light, the only illumi- h e l d c l o s e t o h i s the future and see robots playing a part few seasons back was the play "R. B.
nation in the hall, shone throat in human affairs.
down on the gigantic In the excitement In his famous "War tff the Worlds" R.," which portrayed what might hap-
figure of Alpha and that followed the mon- Wells told, a story about mechanical pen in the world if mechanical men dis-
the smaller one of his ster stood stock-still men, not unlike Alpha and the world's covered love and became strong enottgfe
creator. pointing the revolver.. other robots, who would come to the to exterminate mankind. And a short
"And now, ladies Mr. May's, voice could earth from Mars, and fight and devas- time later a Broadway theatre wae as-
and gentlemen," said be heard exhorting tate whole continents with death rays.
May, "I will demon- Alpha, "Back to your If this ever happens, whkh of course is ing a mechanical man for a dance di-
strate to you what is chair, Alpha, and highly improbable^ the nations of this rector. And he was never late to -work!
perhaps the most as- drop that gun." globe may have mechanical robots, like
tounding accomplish- To the astonish- Alpha, to combat them.
ment in this mechani- ment of all, the me-
cal man's repertoire. chanical man obeyed allEven today there are robots who do
At a spoken word of instantly,, the revol- justsorts of household tasks. Of course,
at the present time they are a little
command, he will pick ver clattered to the to expensive
up, a. revolver and fire fioor and he backed up purchase andforpresent Mr. Average Citizen to
to his wife for
a bullet directly at the step by step and. s_at Christmas.
target on the. rear down hi the chair,
"Now, stay there," Tb-e well-known story of "Franken-
wall stein" demonstrated what might happen
Throagk the mind said May.
of every person pres- Five mmutes later if one of these me-
ent crept the memory the hsB was empty of chanical men got out
of Mrs. Shelley's trag- everybody but Mr. of control. In the:
ic and terribfe fiction May and Alpha. When story, the creature put
story of "Franken- the inventor was at- together by Dr. Frank-
stein," the man who tended by a doctor for enstein was too strong
created a mechanical his punctured hand, to overpower. He tor-
m o n s t e r that de- he was philosophical tured ms maker and
stroyed Mm. Despite about the mishap. many others.
the- suave ease- and "I always had a The point was that
completemaistery May feeling," he said, "that" Frankenstein c o u l d
had so far exhibited in Alpha would turn on duplicate everything
controlling the mon- me some day. but this in his monster that a
ster,, many could not is the first time he human being had ex-
Revealed to th* but feel that in teach- ever ^ disobeyed iny cept the souL And
"The Televisor, Another Rohot Recently
Sits Down and ing the brute of steel commands. I can't un- that omission led to
British Public. Life* "Aloha" Tt Stand*, to shoot off a gun the
Speaks. Death Ray Warriors
inventor was tempt-
An Interesting View of from Mars, as Imagp-
"T was going to be a very scientific ing the fates, going a little too far. itved by H. G~ Wells,
evening., A large group of dignified "It's a blank cartridge in the gun, I the "Anatomy" of
Robot. Electrical Bat-
„„ British society folk had gathered at hope," exclaimed one nervous onlooker terns anil Wires Take
Brighton, England, to see Harry May in the crowd. the Place of Heart,
demonstrate the marvelous versatility "Oh, no/' explained May, "in order to
JMuScIes, Lungs anrf
of Alpha, his enormous, wireless-con- demonstrate the confidence I have in Liver. The Tube on the
trolled mechanical man. Alpha I have for this one occasion put
Right Is the "Brainw
M r May had so- perfected ms two-ton, a real bullet in the revolver. He will Which Controls the
robot, it was said, that the mechanical. shoot it when I direct him to. Alpha's Monster's Activities,
man responded immediately to spoken. mechanism is so delicately sensitive to
orders to smoke, read newspapers, walk, my voice that he will not only fire the left his lips. Women
tell time, and even answer questions. It gun but. he will aim it perfectly and will
in the a u d i e n c e
was whispered, too, that at the climax score a bull's eye on the target you see screamed and men
of the performance Mr. May would get before you."
Alpha to shoot a gun at a target. A mur.mur went through the crowd.
Well the show w.ent OR and the The nervous, onlooker and fcwo or three AI
orders A1-
macabre monster the inventor had cre- others started for the door. "Please bad :"sen
ated did his stuff with amazing; preci- wait a minute, ladies- and gentlemen. I
sion and with almost human intelli- assure you there is no danger," pleaded
gence. The audience was thrilled but the man on th« stage. revolver right at
just the least-bit frightened. The thing Reluctantly, the frightened men and his maker I The
was, even when scientifically explained. women once more took their seats. May nightmarish story of
a little.too uncanny for comfort. walked over and placed a loaded revol- Mrs. Shelley was
They were convinced that it was by ver in the robot's "hand.1* coming true in real
no trickery or hocus-pocus that May op- "Before performing this feat," said life — right before
erated the steel-encased robot. At the the lecturer, "I will try to explain, how the fashionable Eng-
beginning of the performance the inven- 'Alpha accomplishes these marvels, lish., society group's
tor had exposed the- anatomy of Ai.pha whkh you have seen- and which no other •eyesf
by removing the steel partition that cov- robot has ever been able to master. "Stop, A l p h a ,
ered its. chest. "Yoa have heard him talk, answer my stop!" ordered the
The spectators saw a highly intricate questions, read newspapers. This mon- frightened M a y.
arrangement of mechanical and electri- ster, which resembles a man in armor, "Drop that gun
cal apparatus. They had been further can do almost anything I ask _ Mm. -and sit down."
. enlightened by May's, explanation that Photo-electric cells are the But almost as '
various tones of his voice, earned on air gratings that cover his eyes, and his he spoke the mon-
waveB to the monster, set the Chidden ears are disguised microphones. When ster toofe a step
machinery in operation, resulting, in yon see him obey my commands as you forward, — a n d :
Alpha doing almost everything a human have tonight..he is acting without any fired. May.- in- echanical Man Is Grriag *ej*»wp ol Attraegve Sho
being could do, other human aid. And new, ladies' and The NcveJ Stage Director Has No BifficBlty at Afl m Kc«pa^; His "Mmd
There'was an impressive lull. The gentlemen—" Be turned towards his hand, and this OJB His Work,
lights in the hall were extinguished A "Alpha", but as he did so a startled cry
int Features Sfn&catc. fee., J982

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