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January 11, 2023

Tinker the Robot, a Real-Life ‘Jetsons’ Housekeeper Robot, Invented in 1966

Tinker the remote-controlled robot was the work of inventor David Weston from Yorkshire in 1966. His metal friend could wash the car, take the baby for a stroll down the road, go on a shopping expedition and weed the garden. However, all of of these tasks had to be done within 200 meters of David’s garage, where he controlled Tinker through a control panel.

The robot contains 120 electronic motors, a zoom-TV camera, a memory and 29 channels for receiving signals from a gadget-filled cellar. Weston can watch the robot while it cuts the lawn, odd-jobs, runs errands and takes the baby for a walk, by a television camera installed in the roof.

Due to lack of space at David’s home the robot was eventually passed on to a family friend, Brian, in 1974. Brian owned a shop called Leeds Radio during the 1960s and 1970s; he sold army surplus radio equipment. 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 came up with lots of “inventions” during his lifetime, most of them were just fancy ideas he scribbled on the back of cigar packets. Sadly the inventor passed away at the age of 71 in 1995.


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