Using three photographs, a 55-year-old video clip and $700 from the Benton Engineering Council, the UF Gator Robotics club resurrected a 7-foot robot from the past.

Michael Andrews, president of the Benton Engineering Council, asked Gator Robotics last month to rebuild a robot named Otto, which was built by a UF electrical engineer in 1957.

The robot is the mascot for Engineering Week, which ends today. Otto will be on display at the State of the College Address at 5:30 p.m. in the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom.

The seven-student design team completed the basic construction of the robot Wednesday, said Camilo Buscaron, president of Gator Robotics.

“I’m really proud of the work they did,” he said.

The robot can move its eyes, mouth and arms, 18-year-old material science and engineering freshman Kevin French said. The team plans to add a speaker so Otto can talk and to give Otto the ability to shake hands and wave.

“We have been brainstorming all kinds of things to add to him. Everything from a jet pack to tank treads,” French said. “Maybe a team in the future will make a female Otto, and it’ll be like the new Albert and Alberta.”

(1) comment


I see great promise in high-quality, affordable online education. I believe online learning from High Speed Universities can challenge students to learn deeply, apply the content to their current and future careers and life goals, and challenge current assumptions and worldviews. All of which increase engagement and could lead to higher graduation rates.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything. Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person. Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts. Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.