FYI September 25, 2017

1906 – In the presence of the king and before a great crowd, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo successfully demonstrates the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.

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Radio control: the Telekino

In 1903, Torres presented the Telekino at the Paris Academy of Science, accompanied by a brief, and making an experimental demonstration. In the same year, he obtained a patent in France, Spain, Great Britain, and the United States. The Telekino consisted of a robot that executed commands transmitted by electromagnetic waves. It constituted the world’s second publicly demonstrated apparatus for radio control, after Nikola Tesla’s Patented “Teleautomaton”, and was a pioneer in the field of remote control. In 1906, in the presence of the king and before a great crowd, Torres successfully demonstrated the invention in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore. Later, he would try to apply the Telekino to projectiles and torpedoes but had to abandon the project for lack of financing. In 2007, the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) dedicated a Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing[6] to the Telekino, based on the research work developed at Technical University of Madrid by Prof. Antonio Pérez Yuste, who was the driving force behind the Milestone nomination.

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1764 – Fletcher Christian, English sailor (d. 1793)
Fletcher Christian (25 September 1764 – 20 September 1793) was master’s mate on board HMS Bounty during Lieutenant William Bligh’s voyage to Tahiti for breadfruit plants. In the mutiny on the Bounty, Christian seized command of the ship from Bligh on 28 April 1789.[1]

Early life
Christian was born on 25 September 1764, at his family home of Moorland Close, Eaglesfield, near Cockermouth in Cumberland, England. Fletcher’s father’s side had originated from the Isle of Man and most of his paternal great-grandfathers were historic Deemsters, their original family surname McCrystyn.

Fletcher was the brother to Edward and Humphrey, being the three sons of Charles Christian of Moorland Close and of the large Ewanrigg Hall estate in Dearham, Cumberland, an attorney-at-law descended from Manx gentry, and his wife Ann Dixon.[2][3]

Charles’s marriage to Ann brought with it the small property of Moorland Close, “a quadrangle pile of buildings … half castle, half farmstead.” The property can be seen to the north of the Cockermouth to Egremont A5086 road.[4] Charles died in 1768 when Fletcher was not yet four. Ann proved herself grossly irresponsible with money. By 1779, when Fletcher was fifteen, Ann had run up a debt of nearly £6,500 (equal to £787,835 today),[4] and faced the prospect of debtors’ prison. Moorland Close was lost and Ann and her three younger children were forced to flee to the Isle of Man, to their relative’s estate, where English creditors had no power.

The three elder Christian sons managed to arrange a £40 (equal to £4,848 today) per year annuity for their mother, allowing the family to live in genteel poverty. Christian spent seven years at the Cockermouth Free School from the age of nine. One of his younger contemporaries there was Cockermouth native William Wordsworth. It is commonly misconceived that the two were ‘school friends’; Christian was six years the senior of the future Poet Laureate. His mother Ann died on the Isle of Man in 1819.[5]

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Obama Foundation Fellowship
The Obama Foundation Fellowship program seeks to support outstanding civic innovators from around the world in order to amplify the impact of their work and to inspire a wave of civic innovation.
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