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Leonardo Torres y Quevedo, (December 28, 1852 – December 18, 1936)
was an Spanish engineer and mathematician, influenced by the work of the English mathematician Charles Babbage (1791-1871) and his analytical engine. Torres was most famous for the Aero Cable Car on the Canadian side of the Niagara River and analogue calculating machines.

In 1910 he began (other sources state 1890, or 1901) to construct a chess automaton, El Ajedrecista (The Chessplayer). In 1912 it was able to automatically play a white king and rook against the black king. A second, mechanical but not algorithmic improved El Ajedrecista was built by Leonardo Torres Quevedo's son Gonzalo in 1922, under the direction of his father. At the 1951 Paris Cybernetic Congress the advanced machine was introduced to a greater audience and explained to Norbert Wiener [1].
Torres Stamp [2]

IEEE Recognition

On March 17, 2007, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) recognized Torres’ Telekine [3] with an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing [4]. The dedication was held at the Torres Quevedo Museum of Engineering, Institute of Civil Engineering, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid [5], where also a functional El Ajedrecista can be visited [6].


External Links


  1. ^ David Mindell, Jérôme Segal, Slava Gerovitch (2003). Cybernetics and Information Theory in the United States, France and the Soviet Union. in Mark Walker, Science and Ideology: A Comparative History » Claude Shannon, Norbert Wiener, covers the 1951 Paris Cybernetic Congress
  2. ^ Spain September 6, 1955 Leonardo Torres Quevedo the stamp
  3. ^ Antonio Pérez Yuste, Magdalena Salazar Palma (2004). The First Wireless Remote-Control: The Telekine of Torres Quevedo. pdf
  4. ^ Cyber Heroes of the past: Leonardo Torres y Quevedo
  5. ^ Torres-Quevedo Museum of Engineering - Early Developments in Remote-Control, 1901 - The Telekine (pdf, Spanish/English) Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos (Institute of Civil Engineering) - Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  6. ^ Universidad Politécnica de Madrid - Museo "Torres Quevedo"
  7. ^ Analytical Engine from Wikipedia
  8. ^ Percy Ludgate from Wikipedia
  9. ^ Vannevar Bush

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