Meet Topo, the 1980s robot from San Jose, CA

A model of a 1980s robot.

Though Topo wasn’t a full servant, it still proved entertaining.

Photo by SJtoday staff

Remember when we took you through our favorite artifacts of San Jose Historical Museum’s “Valley Memories” exhibit?

Well, we loved it so much that we wanted to share another favorite artifact of ours.

Meet: Topo 🤖

In 1983, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell (remember him?) + San Jose-based Androbot Inc. released the robot with the purpose of being a “mobile extension” of your personal computer.

Topo was programmed through an 8-bit computer interface called Apple II + could:

  • Chatter, shout, and whistle
  • Insult, flatter, and sing
  • Add, subtract, and say “hello” in some languages

As innovative as it was at the time, it was difficult to use + true interaction was impossible.

Nevertheless, Topo is still recognized as one of the first robots made available to the general public.

Check out even more local artifacts in History Park’s newest gallery — open weekdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. + weekends 12-4 p.m.

More from SJtoday