From the recently-posted Life magazine archives comes photographic evidence of a pistol-packing robot that predated Michael Crichton’s Westworld and Yul Brynner’s Gunslinger by some 13 years. We've got more pictures after the jump. Alas, the archives don’t tell us much more than that the robot was built by Robert Wolfe and that the pictures were taken in 1960, so it’s impossible (even with the help of the interwebs) to figure out just why TV actor Mike Connors was pictured in an attempt to outdraw the mechanical marshal (perhaps it was to publicize Connors then-current cop drama, Tightrope ). Crichton famously took Brynner’s character in The Magnificent Seven as his visual inspiration for The Gunslinger—but Wolfe’s “pistol-shooting robot” looks awfully familiar, too.
"Pistol shooting robot invented by Robert Wolfe."
"TV actor, Mike Connors, trying to outdraw pistol-shooting robot."
"Robot equipped with fast-draw invention shoots it out with live gunner."
Life Photo Archive [Google]