In Illinois: A Better Robot?

Take I-55 through the gently rolling shopping malls and heavily wooded station wagons south of Chicago. Just down the street from tomorrow, you will encounter the cybernetic, servomechanical, 1¼-acre kingdom of Ben Skora's. Don't expect road signs. "Just ask anybody for the guy with the robot," chuckles Skora.

Some human beings are gifted with perfect pitch, others with total recall. Ben Skora can hand-build just about anything, without benefit of blueprint. A high school dropout, one-time recording company owner, Skora has for the past 30 years helped pay the rent by treating drug,...

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