This has to be it, right? Assuming you're not a gearhead, the simple existence of a six-foot-tall robot inexplicably washing an old car is geeky enough. If you love cars you also notice the presence of an '02. As soon as I saw this photo I had to figure out the meaning behind it.

That fine specimen is called Tinker. He was created by British inventor Dennis Weston in 1966, who impressed the press at the time by proving that the robot is indeed capable of washing Mr Weston's car at his home in Leeds.


Equipped with 120 electric motors, a zoom-camera, a memory bank and a 29-channel radio receiver, Tinker could perform 180 different tasks while his creator could direct him from his cellar (or anywhere within a 2 miles radius) using a television screen to monitor what's in front of him and controllers to adjust his moves.

(Film now, land later is available on British Pathé)

Unfortunately, things turned for the worse for Tinker in 1974, when Mr Weston simply ran out of space and gave him to one of his friends. This friend happened to own a shop called Leeds Radio where he sold army surplus radio equipment. Bad luck for Tinker according to the inventor's son on cyberneticzoo:

Most of the gear that went through Brian's shop was eventually stripped down and sold off as spare parts. Unfortunately, the same thing probably happened to Tinker.

Dennis Weston had thousands of unfinished projects before his death at the age of 71, Tinker being just one of the robots he created during the sixties and seventies.


His dedication to four-wheeled objects shall not be forgotten.

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