Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Old Robots Site--Better Than Skynet's Family Photo Album
A few weeks back, I found The Old Robots site while surfing around the 'net and boy, did I hit the mother load when it comes to robot trivia.
The Old Robots site is an easy-to-navigate archive of all sorts of robots that were produced during the mid-to-late twentieth century (as well as a few from the early twenty-first century, such as the Robosapien robots by WooWee). While a large portion of the site is devoted to toy robots, it also lists a few robots built for industrial, agricultural, medical and military uses. Furthermore, the site features a variety of downloadable manuals, articles, posters and box art for the robots, and it even has its own YouTube channel that displays video footage of some of the robots in action. If there's a more thorough, comprehensive reference site out there devoted to robots across a wide range of areas, from practical robots to toy robots to movie and TV robots, I have yet to find it.
To clarify, when I mention "toy robots" in the context of The Old Robots site, I'm talking about toy robots that are (for the most part) both battery-powered and interactive in some way; thus, don't expect to find robots from toy lines such as Transformers, Zoids or Shogun Warriors on this site. However, Old Robots has a six-page section devoted to Robo Force by Ideal, one of the less popular robot toy lines from the 80s that was neither battery-powered nor interactive. I'm not sure why the site devotes such space to these toys, although I suspect that it's probably because that Robo Force was the only robot toy line from that time that tried to branch out into both do-it-yourself toy robot assembly kits through Ideal's Erector sets and actual home-use robotics with a two-foot tall, programmable Maxx Steel robot.