April 1977 Interface Age Magazine

April 1977 Interface Age Magazine. Cover scan courtesy of The Vintage Computer

Tod Loofbourrow’s original Microtron robot (which he called “Mike”) was featured in the April 1977 issue of Interface Age magazine (PDF scan of article.). Prominently displayed on the cover, Tod’s “Mike” had at this point only reached the first stage of his development. Tod later added the eight-sided outer frames and impact sensors before writing his book about the robot.

Visible in this picture is the KIM-1 computer which controlled all the functions of the robot. In this early stage, the robot could be under joystick control, but later, after the impact sensors were installed, it was entirely self-directing.