But then Eric mysteriously vanished. No-one is sure what happened to the robot -- he might have been lost, destroyed, or scrapped for parts. Now, the Science Museum wants to recreate Eric using photos and archived material supplied by his creators' relatives. The organisation has commissioned roboticist Giles Walker to complete the project, and estimates that the new Eric can be built in just a few months. If all goes to plan, the reconstructed robot will be unveiled at the museum this October, free for anyone to see. He'll disappear a month later and then featured in a larger, paid exhibit due to open in February, before touring the world like his predecessor.
There's one caveat -- the Science Museum needs some cash. It's asking for £35,000 (roughly $50,551) on Kickstarter, with the usual slew of backer rewards including a behind-the-scenes short film, an Eric-themed t-shirt, a jazzy tote bag and a built-it-yourself model. All of that is secondary, however, to what the museum hopes will be an interest in rebuilding and, subsequently, preserving an important piece of history. Sure, it won't be the real Eric, but a new version of the primitive android could help the public to understand and appreciate the origins of robotics.
Images: Science Museum