Snapshot of History: The Humanoid

Amateur inventor Yasutaro Mitsui poses with his “Steel Humanoid” in Tokyo, Japan in 1932. Tragically, Mitsui was killed two days later after telling the humanoid to wash the dishes.

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5 Responses to “Snapshot of History: The Humanoid”


  1. 1 Wally Lamark October 16, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Is that guy short, or that robot tall?

    Say, did the Japanese military figure out any practical uses of such a machine for their war effort? Surely war machines would have been researched!

  2. 2 Dave Newell October 16, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Very little information is readily available about the height/weight of the Humanoid because Mitsui was killed soon after its creation. What happened to the humanoid is not known – except that it never washed the dishes.

    You’ve struck an interesting line of discussion by asking how the Humanoid may have helped the war effort in Japan during WWII. We’ll talk further about this on Monday; it’s quite fascinating really.

  3. 3 B. Martinez October 18, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    I just noticed that the Humanoid has squinty eyes. He looks like a machine version of a Japanese person.

  4. 4 Jim October 19, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    I don’t know… were alloys such as stainless steel developed in 1932? Washing the dished would have proved disastrous if the Humanoid was constructed of tin or iron. Oxidation would surely have cut short the domestic career of the robot. Unless Playtex rubber gloves were around… size xxxx-large.

  5. 5 Dave Newell October 19, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Jim, you’re right. Rubber gloves were invented by William Stewart Halsted in the 1960s, almost thirty years after the humanoid was invented. Unless the inventor knew something we don’t, dish washing would have severely damaged the robot. If only Mitsuit hadn’t been killed…


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