home  >  History Making robots  >  Grey Walter's Tortoises  >  Operation  |  Circuit  |  #6 Gallery  |  Replicas 22 March 2015

Grey Walter's Tortoises

"Why did you call him tortoise if he wasn't one?" Alice asked.
"We called him tortoise because he taught us" said the Mock Turtle angrily: "really you are very dull!"
(Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll)

  • How the Tortoise Works  Machina Speculatrix - Technical overview
  • Circuits
  • How the Circuit Works
  • Parts

    1948 Elmer [cyberneticzoo] and Elsie [cyberneticzoo] WGW's first two Tortoises were created.

    1951 Festival of Britain Tortoises
    Six improved Tortoises, based on Elsie, were made for the Festival which ran through the summer of 1951.
    Two with opaque silver shells were on show working in a pen, and one with a transparent shell was on display advertising its electronics components.
    After the Festival [cyberneticzoo] these three were bought by Dr. Clutterbuck [cyberneticzoo] and taken to Australia where the two with opaque shells were destroyed in a fire, the one with the transparent shell (#5) was then donated to the Smithsonian Institution.
    One was sent in 1960 to Science Materials Center (US) [cyberneticzoo]. Modified to use transistors. Apparently not returned - missing.
    From 1971-1975 one was in the Eames IBM display [cyberneticzoo]. Apparently not returned missing.
    The remaining one, #6, (Olga), was WGW's personal Tortoise, it was rediscovered in 1995, two replica's were made, and it is now on display in the Science Museum, London.

    1951 Festival of Britain Tortoise #6

  • Grey Walter's FoB Tortoise #6 history
  • How the Tortoise Works  Machina Speculatrix - Technical overview
  • How the Circuit Works
  • Grey Walter's FoB Tortoise #6 Gallery
  • Parts

    1951/1995 Festival of Britain Tortoise Replicas
    Some of the components such as the valves date back to the original FoB Tortoises but mostly the parts have been re-created, the Shells however are original 1951 Shells and when the Replicas were constructed AMY's shell was rescued from a garden where it was being used as a cloche and has had ventilation holes drilled in the top. The original FROG motors were very troublesome and had to be extensively modified for the 1951 Tortoises hence it was decided to use modern motors for the replicas.

  • Grey Walter's FoB Tortoise Replicas
  • Grey Walter's FoB Tortoise Replica Amy gallery 2008
  • Grey Walter's FoB Tortoise Replicas Amy and Ninja gallery 2009

    2000 Millennium Festival of Britain Tortoise Replicas
    The look alike 1951 Tortoises performed during the Festival.

  • Grey Walter's FoB Tortoise Millennium replica Gallery


    Off site - cyberneticzoo

  • W. Grey Walter and his Tortoises - The published posts

    Off site - University of Bristol

  • www.ias.uwe.ac.uk/Robots/gwonline/gwonline.html The Grey Walter Online Archive - Background information
  • www.ias.uwe.ac.uk/Robots/gwonline/gwarkive.html The Grey Walter Picture Archive

    Off site - The Royal Society

  • http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/361/1811/2085.full.pdf  "Exploration and high adventure: the legacy of Grey Walter"

    Off site - The Festival of Britain

  • http://www.packer34.freeserve.co.uk/
  • http://www.goodeveca.net/science1951/
    History Makers  top