The flute player

The next exhibit for the future Robotics Section is now being built in our workshops.

With a wiry upper body and a wooden substructure, the model now bears little resemblance to a flute player. Only the position of the metal arms with the wooden hands hints at what the figure will do once completed. The figure, which will actually play a flute, will stand in the new Robotics Section as of 2019. Its purpose is primarily to document the early developments in this field. "Our flute player has its origins in a mechanical musical instrument from the ninth century A.D.", explains Frank Dittmann, the project manager. "We wanted to have an object to represent the long history of the idea of an artificial person." A water clock stands for the ancient roots of the idea. The next exhibit in chronological order was the praying monk from the 16th century. The flute player will now fit in between them. Dittmann's focus for the new robotics section in the Deutsches Museum is above all the principle of imitating human activities by mechanical means. Franz Huber, who heads the workshop team, is ensuring that the new exhibit embodies that principle. Precision mechanics, sculptors, model builders and painters will all have to use the tools of their trades before the flute player can play his first note.