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There Used to Be an Entire Museum Full of Weird, Old Robots, And You Can Still Take a Video Tour

Today, people can get their old creepy robot fix on the internet. But there was once a whole museum devoted to old bots

Today, if you’re looking to be mesmerized and a little freaked out by old, creepy robots, the internet will provide. But there was once a whole museum in York, England, devoted to old bots: The Museum of Automata. The museum closed in 1996, but you can still get a tour, in this 30 minute documentary.

Complete with great ’80s music, a British narrator and a “wonderland of magic and ingenuity,” the tour includes Japanese archer bots, a gilded magician performing the cup trick, and a woman with a spinning wheel powered only by a piece of wire and a tiny weight. There are creepy smoking robots, a Frenchman writing a love letter and a man falling into an outhouse. Once you start watching, it’s hard to stop:

H/T The Automata Blog

More from Smithsonian.com:

Before Robots, Japan Had Tiny Dolls That Tumbled Down Stairs And Served Tea
A Brief History of Robot Birds

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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