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Unfortunately, nothing ever came of this. Tesla was well known for not pursuing many ideas fully. The inventor always claimed he did not have enough time to produce all the many inventions he had ideas for. It must be remembered that many AC motors, generators, coils, lights, and other working devices were sold and patented by Tesla through Westinghouse. One final noteworthy item eventually follows from Tesla's robotic work. Tesla stated that a second idea was implemented in 1898, but was not issued a patent until later.
In 1903, in an attempt to refine his achievements, Tesla acquired a patent for a method of signaling. This was based upon his earlier work in tele-automation and robotics. This new patent used a group of coordinated tuning devices responsive to a combination of several radio waves of completely different frequencies. What this patent referred to in detail was a system whereby two or more entirely different frequencies must be received at the same time by a receiver before a relay would be activated. Tesla stated that any number of these tuned frequencies may be used and it would work as effectively as a tumbler lock.
In the later half of the 20th century, it has been written that many computer designers have been shocked to stumble upon Tesla's basic patent for the basic logical "AND" circuit used in all modern computers. Although Tesla used AC signals and modern computers use DC signals, the effect was identical. This was the theory of using two or more inputs to produce an output.
Nikola Tesla's tele-automated vessels were truly amazing feats of achievement. It is little wonder that the public was amazed, astounded, and actually fearful of such a device when they saw it in operation. Although he is seldom recognized for this accomplishment, Tesla's vessel was literally the birth of robotics.
References and Patents
Patent 613,809 - Method of and apparatus for controlling mechanism of moving vessels.
Patent 723,188 - Method of signaling.
Tesla, Man Out of Time, by Margaret Cheney 1993, Barnes and Noble.
The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla, by Nikola Tesla and David Hatcher Childress, 1993, Adventures Unlimited.
Tesla Belgrade Museum website: www.yurope.com/org/tesla/uvode.htm
Second Museum link: www.tesla-museum.org/en_meni/menis.htm
US patent office website: www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html
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