The Hopkins Beast

Controlled by dozens of transistors, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab's "Beast" wandered white hallways, centering by sonar, until its batteries ran low. Then it would seek black wall outlets with special photocell optics, and plug itself in by feel with its special recharging arm. After feeding, it would resume patrolling. Much more complex than Elsie, the Beast's deliberate coordinated actions can be compared to the bacteria hunting behaviors of large nucleated cells like paramecia or amoebae.

index