The curators at the UK Science Museum tracked down lost plans while researching a new exhibition. Eric is everything we now imagine a robot to be – a talking, moving mechanical person. Originally built in 1928 by Captain Richards & A.H. Reffell, Eric was one of the world’s first robots. On September 28 1928 Eric stood up at the Royal Horticultural Hall, bowed, looked right and left and moved his hands as he proceeded to give a four minute opening address as “sparks flashed from his teeth”. He travelled the globe with his makers but then disappeared, seemingly forever.

In May 2016, over 800 backers joined a Kickstarter campaign to raise £35K to bring Eric back to life. Thanks to this support Science Museum have been able to enlisted expert roboticist Giles Walker to rebuild Eric at his workshop in London, allowing Eric to be saved for the nation as part of the Science Museum permanent collection.

You will be able to see Eric for free in the Science Museum for a month in October 2016, and all joints lubricated and adjusted hopefully he will then star in the Science Museum’s Robots Exhibition from February 2017. Eric will once more travel the world as part of the Robots Exhibition’s International Tour from 2018 to 2022.