Yes, fresh out of the General Electric engineering lab, we see the amazing hydro-mechanical masterslave 'Handyman.'Impressed? You should be, because according to the original photo caption, it "represents mankind's closest approach yet to the metallic monsters of science fiction." Children watch on in horror as it spins a hula hoop.
The human-controlled slave robot here was touted as "the first manipulator to simulate the clutching motion of the human hand," with the intention being that it could handle radioactive objects in the assembly of atomic aircraft -- which, yes, was a popular vision of future aviation during the Cold War.
Robert Lamb is a senior writer and host at HowStuffWorks, where he co-hosts Stuff to Blow Your Mind. An avid science enthusiast, he boasts a deep love for monsters, a hankering for electronic music and an endless fascination for the intersection of myth, history and the natural world. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and son.