Meet Seleno – The Groundbreaking Electric Dog

Imagine it‘s 1912 and you‘ve been invited to witness an astonishing new invention – a machine that reacts to light like a living animal. As flashes illuminate its eyes, this "Electric Dog" starts wheeling across the floor, chasing the light like a pet following its master. Meet Seleno, brought to life by two pioneers in what they termed "radiodynamics" – the wireless control of machines.

Who Created Seleno the Electric Dog

The Electric Dog was the brainchild of innovators John Hays Hammond Jr. (1888–1965) and Benjamin Franklin Miessner (1890–1976). These young inventors were conducing groundbreaking experiments in radio-controlled torpedoes and vehicles. Their collaboration combined Hammond‘s family wealth and access to top-shelf materials with Miessner‘s engineering expertise.

Radiodynamics utilized primitive wireless signals to remotely steer machines like models ships and planes. But for their Electric Dog demonstration, Hammond and Miessner pioneered self-directing movement – creating an automaton that could react on its own using built-in sensors. Their self-acting creation presaged modern autonomous robots and vehicles.

Selenium Light Reaction

| Condition | Electrical Resistance |
Dark | High resistance |
Light | Resistance drops dramatically |

Harnessing the Power of Selenium

Hammond and Miessner constructed their Electric Dog using selenium, a somewhat obscure metalloid element priced at $3 per ounce in 1912. Unlike most materials, selenium exhibits a dramatic change when exposed to light – its electrical resistance plummets. This photoelectric reaction occurs because light energizes electrons in selenium, making it easier for current to flow.

Let‘s pause to appreciate how incredible early 20th century discoveries into elements like selenium truly were. Remember, the structure of atoms and the nature of electricity were just being uncovered by pioneering scientists. Each new reaction hinted at potentials that seemed almost magical at the time.

The duo realized that selenium‘s unusual qualities perfectly suited their aspirations for a light-responsive, self-directing machine. Tiny selenium cells would serve as the Electric Dog‘s "eyes".

[Diagram of Electric Dog internal components]

Bringing Seleno the Electric Dog to Life

To animate their invention, Miessner carefully connected the selenium cells to motors and batteries within the vehicle frame. Flashing light into the glass eye sockets lowered resistance in the cells, closing circuits to propel the attached wheels forward. Adjusting the angle of light caused the Electric Dog to alter direction, pursuing the illumination like a pet chasing its owner.

Let‘s imagine witnessing this groundbreaking first demonstration. We eagerly crowd as Miessner activates Seleno the Electric Dog before our very eyes…

A flash illuminates the machine‘s eyes – suddenly it lurches into motion! The uncanny contraption rolls steadily toward our inventor as he waves the light. We gasp seeing this "creature" respond and give pursuit – its movement seems alive! Miessner deftly shifts the flashing beam and Seleno pivots after it – the Electric Dog trails its master around the room like a trained pet. Murmured exclamations of wonder sweep through the gathered crowd.

What must it have been like seeing this pioneering self-directed device react intelligently for the first time? Now picture a modern visitor watching Seleno spring to life – they‘d instantly recognize an early robotic precursor to modern autonomous machines!

Pioneering a Revolution in Robotics

Hammond and Miessner understood Selenium‘s potential far surpassed short-term scientific curiosity. Their primitive Electric Dog established elementary principles for an entirely new generation of machines – self-acting automata.

Miessner envisioned Weaponizing his radio-dynamic discoveries as remotely guided vehicles and smart munitions. Why not construct torpedoes that could independently steer toward targets? He described remodeling Seleno as a "dog of war" able to home in on enemy ships. Modern cruise missiles and drones stem directly from the breakthroughs first demonstrated by his ambitious Electric Dog prototype.

The inventive duo helped launch research into artificial intelligence and automation expanding rapidly in subsequent decades. Their small selenium robot – enthusiastically chasing light beams within a 1912 lab – foreshadowed seismic shifts in technology fundamentally changing how we live and work today.

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