This fascinating piece of machinery was designed in the late 1770’s by a Swiss watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Dros. This amazing automata contains almost 6000 custom made parts that work together to enable this little boy ‘robot’ to write and make small movements. This clip was taken from a BBC Four documentary called Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams, hosted by Professor Simon Schaffer.
It’s a very interesting video and he delves into how this 240 year old device was designed and constructed. What makes this machine even more interesting is that it is fully programmable, and some have suggested it is the first example of a computer.