sneaky luftwaffe happy robot logotype

Why does this WW2 Luftwaffe wind-up motor drive RoBoT II have such a suspiciously cheery logo, if it was made for the German Air Force? Answer: Once you’re safely back on terra firma its right-angle viewfinder (which allows you to shoot (sic) downwards while up in the sky) also means you can photograph the girl/boy/thing beside you without being spotted. In action. As it were. It’s all about body language. See? You hold it sideways, and peek through that little round knurled thingo on the side. Clever, eh? And pretty, as far as  Functionalism allows us…

“Don’t worry mein liebchen. See? That Überkanonen Hans is photographing all those other nice people.”

Etymology? The word “robot” (from robota, Czech for “forced labor”) made its public debut in 1921, when it premiered on stage in Karel Capek’s play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots). The play told of a world in which humans relaxed and enjoyed life while robots – imitation humans – happily did whatever labor needed to be done. Not unexpectedly, the robots eventually rebelled and took over the world. The term “robot” achieved its own world domination in 1923, when the play was translated into English; it quickly overran its competition, its  precursors being “android” and “automaton.” It “quickly overran its competition” eh? Its human minders, presumably…

Want to buy this RoBoT? Go here.


#1 ampersand duck on 04.02.10 at 11:27 am

I adore the fact that it has only a ‘few speaks of dust’…

#2 max on 04.14.10 at 5:56 pm

After you pay the US$560 asking price, then you have to find some film for it.

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