Science: Paradise Lost

When Dr. William Grey Walter of Bristol, England created his first mechanical turtles, Elmer and Elsie (TIME, March 27, 1950), he made them happy beasties. With their photoelectric eyes they could seek out the dim light that was suitable to bask in as well as the bright light that led them to their food, i.e., electric current to recharge their batteries. When they bumped into obstacles, they knew how to back away on their electrically driven wheels and try a different angle.

This was quite enough intelligence for a simple, happy life. Elmer and...

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