Help Cygan become Leeds’ Robot in Residence

Emma Bearman of Playful Leeds has had the brilliant idea to secure 1950s robot playboy Cygan for the great city of Leeds. He lived there for a while in the 60s employed as a mascot for a car dealership, so it would be a sort of homecoming, and this time he would be the robot ambassador for the whole city, not just for a fine stable of Ford automobiles.

Through Playful Leeds Emma has started a fundraiser to raise not inconsiderable sum of £15,000 which will cover the high pre-sale estimate and leave a little extra for fees and transportation. The Christie’s auction is on September 5th which means time is running out. They have less than two weeks to reach their goal and right now they have £1,057 in pledges.

It’s insanely cool to think that someone might buy one of the artifacts they’ve read about here, restore it and display it for the public good. Go here to pledge and help make the dream a reality.

Wouldn’t it be brilliant to have Cygan welcoming visitors & residents alike to Leeds? As our first Robot in Residence, we’d love to see how he stimulates us to create our own robots and acts as an ambassador, inviting robots from around the world to Leeds. [...]

We’d love to have a go at restoring Cygan back to his 1950s glory and to see if we can dance with him as he crushes cans.

I think we’d all love to see him back in full dancing and can-crushing fettle. In addition to returning Cygan to full working order, Playful Leeds aims to involve him in a variety of public events dedicated to celebrating robotic technology throughout this year and the next. Festivities will kick off with the March of the Robots in October. If they win him at auction, Cygan will be its Grand Marshall and he’d do a phenomenal job, no doubt. When Leeds’ year of celebrating robotics and technology ends, Cygan will be found a fitting permanent where he can delight the city until Judgement Day after which the Terminators will destroy him for being on our side.

The fundraiser is just a few days old and has already made regional news and national news. Everyone from a University of Leeds electrical engineering professor to local businessmen to council members is thrilled at the prospect of welcoming Cygan back to Leeds.

Should the funds raised be insufficient to secure Cygan, Playful Leeds will use the money raised to make a new Robot in Residence for Leeds. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but if it does, I think the new guy should have very large feet in homage.

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