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How the Ancient Greeks (sort of) invented robots

Meet Talos, a giant made out of bronze who heats himself to red hot and clasps his enemies to his chest

Illustration: Kate Hazell

The Greeks are well known for inventing a bunch of useful stuff: theatre, philosophy, history and democracy. Less well known is the fact that they invented robots.

Well, as with many claims about the Greeks’ invention of things, that’s not quite right; they didn’t have little classical R2D2s knocking around, wearing tunics and quoting Pindar’s odes. But what is true is that the Greeks came up with all kinds of intriguing stories about…

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