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In 1939, a robot dog was killed while chasing a car. Really.
IO9 ^ | Mar 10, 2012 | Esther Inglis-Arkell

Posted on 03/11/2012 10:57:41 AM PDT by DogByte6RER

In 1939, a robot dog was killed while chasing a car. Really.

Photobucket

Sometimes you stumble across a piece of history that is too good not to follow up on. Sparko, the robot dog, is one such piece of history. Prepared for the World's Fair in 1939, he got out of his pen, chased a car, and was killed. No fooling.

Androids may dream of electronic sheep, but people have dreamed, for decades, of electronic dogs. Robots, a threatening concept, became much less frightening when put in the form of man's best friend. This relationship turned out quite satisfying for people - as well it might, since people engineered it that way. The dogs didn't fare quite so well. One of the most tragic cases was Sparko, the electronic dog. Sparko was a litter of three Sparkos, inspired by Philidog, a French robot exhibited at the 1929 International Radio Exhibition in Paris. Philidog would follow a specific light obediently, and when it got too close to the glow, would stop and begin to bark. A decade later, the Sparkos were meant to upstage the French.

All the Sparkos were modelled on Scottish Terriers and meant to be shown off with their master, a smoking robot, at the 1939 World's Fair. They were supposed to follow any light, and chase after visitors playfully. The last Sparko was lost in 1957. The fate of one remains a mystery. But the first to perish died tragically before the Fair even began, when a careless worker left the door to its storage area open. According to sources at the time, a car passed the door. Immediately, the dog saw its headlights. Off it went. Apparently it, 'rushed headlong towards it and was run over, despite the efforts of the driver to avoid it.'

Of course the saddest casualty of that day is Sparko. But let us not forget the poor driver, who got a terrible vision of the future when, on a perfectly ordinary night, a robot dog rushed barking towards his car, chasing after him when he swerved, and generally doing its best to let him know the robot uprising had occurred, and the robots had set their dogs on us first.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; History; Miscellaneous; Science; Society; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: canine; deaddog; doggieping; dogs; k9; modernhistory; napl; petcemetery; retrofuturism; riseofthemachines; robodog; robot; scottishterrier; sparko
Photobucket

"Barney" Barnett with Sparko. Note Sparko's front legs showing partial stride, although he is sitting on his back legs.

1 posted on 03/11/2012 10:57:44 AM PDT by DogByte6RER
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More info:

1940 – Sparko the Robot Dog – (American)

http://cyberneticzoo.com/?p=1433


2 posted on 03/11/2012 10:58:57 AM PDT by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

Domo arigato mr Sparko.


3 posted on 03/11/2012 11:02:07 AM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: DogByte6RER

Somewhere, there is a cat reading this, and he’s smiling.


4 posted on 03/11/2012 11:10:31 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: DogByte6RER

Ironic. LOL.


5 posted on 03/11/2012 11:14:08 AM PDT by NEWwoman (God Bless America)
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To: AnAmericanMother; Titan Magroyne; Badeye; Shannon; SandRat; arbooz; potlatch; ...
WOOOF!

The Doggie Ping list is for FReepers who would like to be notified of threads relating to all things canid. If you would like to join the Doggie Ping Pack (or be unleashed from it), FReemail me.

6 posted on 03/11/2012 11:16:43 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: DogByte6RER
The fate of one remains a mystery.

A cop probably shot him.

7 posted on 03/11/2012 11:18:26 AM PDT by humblegunner
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To: Slings and Arrows

“Woof ***Beep***!”


8 posted on 03/11/2012 11:22:08 AM PDT by Grizzled Bear (No More RINOS!)
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To: humblegunner

Lol.


9 posted on 03/11/2012 11:26:05 AM PDT by SuzyQue
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To: DogByte6RER

And if a dog ever actually caught a car, it would burn its nose trying to sniff the tailpipe.


10 posted on 03/11/2012 11:28:21 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys=Can't drive, can't ski, can't fly, can't skipper a boat, but they know what's best for you.)
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To: DogByte6RER

11 posted on 03/11/2012 11:32:25 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas gerit ;-{)
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To: JoeProBono

I’ve asked and I’ve asked that you not post my family photos at this site.


12 posted on 03/11/2012 11:36:54 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: DogByte6RER

Saving The Doctor, no doubt....

13 posted on 03/11/2012 11:40:34 AM PDT by mikrofon (RIP, Ms. Sladen)
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To: Slings and Arrows

ping


14 posted on 03/11/2012 12:00:30 PM PDT by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: Slings and Arrows

PING


15 posted on 03/11/2012 12:15:01 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Barack Obama continued to sponsor Jeremiah Wright after he said "G.D. AMERIKKA!"Where's the outrage?)
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To: humblegunner

Robocop no doubt.


16 posted on 03/11/2012 12:19:36 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: mikrofon

Dang! Dr. Who has had some really hot babes as his assistants over the years.


17 posted on 03/11/2012 12:23:49 PM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel (Romney ruined Massachusetts. Now he wants to ruin the nation.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Well played!


18 posted on 03/11/2012 12:24:35 PM PDT by humblegunner
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To: blueunicorn6

crap, that’s funny


19 posted on 03/11/2012 12:25:50 PM PDT by advertising guy (Sarah just jumped..........game on boys.)
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To: Grizzled Bear; Slings and Arrows; callisto; null and void; Lakeshark; sweetliberty; Borax Queen; ...

NOT my fault.


20 posted on 03/11/2012 12:39:01 PM PDT by Darksheare (You will never defeat Bok Choy!)
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To: DogByte6RER

http://splicd.com/ihD3dTVHcoY/48/64


21 posted on 03/11/2012 12:43:23 PM PDT by Krankor (eenie meenie, chili beanie, the spirits are about to speak.)
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To: Darksheare

Well...

...somebody left the gate open...


22 posted on 03/11/2012 1:15:54 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear (No More RINOS!)
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To: Grizzled Bear

“Go forth my killbots! Destroy the humans!”
*BzzztWoof Bzzzztwoof Bzzztwoof CRASH!*


23 posted on 03/11/2012 1:24:01 PM PDT by Darksheare (You will never defeat Bok Choy!)
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To: blueunicorn6

Actually, I swear I saw on TV about a cat - I think the real thing, unfortunately - which was fitted (internally) with something for spying, or such. It could’ve been a radio/microphone, or maybe even explosives. Either way, it ended tragically, when the cat didn’t quite do what the agents wanted and got run over by a car instead of going to their intended target. No smiling cat there! Wish I could remember what show it was.


24 posted on 03/11/2012 3:58:05 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: Grizzled Bear; DogByte6RER; a fool in paradise; Darksheare; MeekOneGOP; Conspiracy Guy; DocRock; ...
"Woof! *CLANK* Woooof!"


25 posted on 03/11/2012 7:26:19 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: MIchaelTArchangel

Elizabeth Sladen. Ah, memories of youth.


26 posted on 03/11/2012 7:36:15 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: the OlLine Rebel

Trouble was, the camera only showed where he had been, not where he was going. And only when he was happy.


27 posted on 03/11/2012 7:50:48 PM PDT by Clay Moore (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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