The Moth
In the late 1940s, Norbert Wiener, then a professor at MIT, teamed up with J. Wiesner (from the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics) and a fabricator named H. Singleton to build a demonstration machine. 

The machine was a three-wheeled cart with two front facing photocells (sensors that detect light) and two more on the sides. The output from the cells was communicated to the steering mechanism on the front wheel, moving the cart toward or away from a light source. Depending on the intensity of the light, the Moth demonstrated a jittering tremor, which closely resembled animal neurological responses to stimuli observed in current neuroscience studies. 

In the images on the right, Wiener poses with the Moth in a portrait for Life magazine; a timelapse image traces the path of the Moth as it follows the movement of a flashlight down a corridor; and an open view of the Moth reveals its intricate construction.

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Three views of Norbert Wiener’s moth, c. 1950, digital prints, Originally published in Life