Here come the ROBOTS


During the 1980s, the excitement around robotics seemed to have hit its peak.  Movies and television shows were littered with robots.  They were everywhere.  You could pick up a robot of your own at Radio Shack, Toys R Us, Crazy Eddie, and other retail outlets.  Honestly, most of these robots were just fancy remote-controlled devices such as RobieVerbot, andOmnibot.  To get a robot for the home that had a computer built-in to make the robot perform a real function was going to cost you close to a thousand dollars or more.  Robots like those that come to mind are Hero and Topo.  Here is a news segment from the time discussing the robot revolution that never happened (not in the home anyway).

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Justin M. Salvato

Writer/Vlogger at Retroist
Seeker of 1980s nostalgia, rummager of vintage computers and player of retro video games.When not writing posts of The Retroist, I'm converting Retroist audio podcasts to Retroist video podcasts.My own videos can be found at
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3 thoughts on “Here come the ROBOTS

  1. angela(toao) says:

    The clear TOPO was awesome but I have to wonder why the ones with the boxes were being punished? :(

  2. Michael says:

    I had a little Compurobot when I was a kid, in ‘85, I think. (On my iPad right now so don’t feel like fighting with it to link, but google it up.). Just bought a boxed one for my daughter’s 7th birthday. It’s nice to have the silly old thing back. Even if it is a cosmetic rip-off of Vincent from The Black Hole.

  3. Chris says:

    My eighth grade students learned to program “Topo” in our computer class. Very cool…but shortly after it was purchased there were technical issues and we had to return it. Fun while it lasted. 1980’s

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