Lefty: World’s First Checker-Bot

While I was goofing off in high school in the early 1980’s, Scott Savage was busy building what may well have been the world’s first checker playing robot: “Lefty.” Lefty was an Armdroid robot arm run by an Atari 800 computer that debuted at the Oklahoma City Omniplex (now the Science Museum Oklahoma) in 1983. Following is a video from a contemporary TV program showing the robot in action [See also The Daily Oklahoman, Friday November 25, 1983, p. 51].

Lefty may well have been the world’s first interactive gaming robot – a search found no competitors for the title. Sadly, the museum appears to have scrapped Lefty 8-10 years ago.

Savage went on to be the lead developer for the Object-Oriented Programmable Integrated Circuit (OOPIC). He is currently Software Manager for the indoor location company, Q-Track.

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