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FV News: The first robot conductor

September 12, 2017 - ZURICH, Switzerland (debut PISA, Italy)

The first truly collaborative dual-arm robot YuMi, designed by robotics firm ABB based in Zurich, has made its debut at the opera by conducting Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and the Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra at the Teatro Verdi in Pisa, Italy September 12, 2017, after being invited by Mr. Bocelli. Among the guests was ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, under whose leadership YuMi was developed. The unique demonstration showed what can happen when advanced robotics meets the arts.

Robot conductor YuMi

FV News: The first solar-powered train

July 14, 2017 - DELHI, India

The first solar-powered train was launched from the Safdarjung railway station in Delhi. Inaugurated on July 14, 2017, the 1600 HP solar-powered DEMU (diesel electrical multiple unit) train runs from Sarai Rohilla in Delhi to Farukh Nagar in Haryana. This initiative marks India to be the first one globally to introduce solar panels as grid in railways.

First Versions: the first solar-powered train

Cinderella (film)

Cinderella 1899 film title
(1899) film title frame
Title: "Cendrillon" (Cinderella)

Category: Movies

Subcategory: Fantasy

Director/Producer: Georges Méliès

Based on: "Cendrillon" by Charles Perrault (1697)

--- Mlle Barral (Cinderella)
--- Bleuette Bernon (Fairy Godmother)
--- Carmelli (Prince)
--- Jehanne d'Alcy (Prince's mother, Queen)
--- Depeyrou (a party guest)
--- Georges Méliès (the genie of the midnight clock)

Georges Méliès
Georges Méliès
Paris, December 8, 1861
- January 21, 1938,
director of the 1899 film
Cendrillon (Cinderella)
Production company: Star-Film

Distributors: Star-Film, Pathé Frères (France) - American Mutoscope & Biograph, Edison Manufacturing Company, S. Lubin (USA)

Released: October 1899 (France) - December 25, 1899 (USA)

Running time: 6 min.

Color: Black and White, partially hand-colored

Language: Silent

Summary plot: The film illustrates the essence of the classic fairy tale Cinderella in the version of Charles Perrault (1697). A fairy godmother magically turns Cinderella's rags to a beautiful dress, and a pumpkin into a coach. Cinderella goes to the ball, where she meets the Prince - but will she remember to leave before the magic runs out?

Interesting facts: Cendrillon (Cinderella) by Georges Méliès is the oldest known film adaptation of the homonym Charles Perrault's 1697 fairy tale. The film was extraordinary then for having multiple scenes, using six distinct sets and five changes of scene within the film; it is also the first movie to utilize a dissolve transition between scenes. Cendrillon was shot in the "glass house" studio designed by Méliès himself and located in Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis, France. In 1912 Méliès made another adaptation of the story, "Cendrillon ou la Pantoufle merveilleuse" (Cinderella or the Glass Slipper).

Property: © Star-Film (now public domain)

Cendrillon (Cinderella), 1899 - first scene
Cendrillon (Cinderella), 1899 - first scene

Cendrillon (Cinderella), 1899 - the coach
Cendrillon (Cinderella), 1899 - the coach

Cendrillon (Cinderella), 1899 - dancing clocks
Cendrillon (Cinderella), 1899 - dancing clocks

Cendrillon (Cinderella), 1899 - Cinderella and the genie
Cendrillon (Cinderella), 1899 - Barral as Cinderella and director Méliès as genie

Cendrillon (Cinderella), 1899 - final scene
Cendrillon (Cinderella), 1899 - final scene

Cendrillon (Cinderella), 1899 - complete film ready to play (5 min. 40 sec.)

Moto Guzzi: 1st model ever

Moto Guzzi logo 1921
Moto Guzzi logo 1921
Prototype name: "G.P. 500"

First model name: "Normale"

Category: Motorcycles

Subcategory: Standard

Prototype designers: Carlo Guzzi and his brother Giuseppe

First model developers: Carlo Guzzi with his brother Giuseppe, and Giorgio Parodi with his cousin Angelo

Producer: Moto Guzzi (founded on March 15, 1921 as "Società Anonima Moto Guzzi" in Genoa, Italy, by Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, his son Giorgio Parodi, and Carlo Guzzi)

Prototype made in: 1919/20

Production start: 1921 - Mandello Tonzanico (now Mandello del Lario), Lecco, Italy

Discontinued: 1924

First price: 8,500 ITL

Prototype features: Horizontal four-strokes 500 cc. single-cyclinder engine characterized the first Moto Guzzi motorcycles, since the 1919/20 "G.P." ("Guzzi-Parodi") prototype. Seeking to eliminate hand-pumped lubrication systems and exposed primary drive chains, Guzzi cast the engine in aluminium as a unit with the three-speed gearbox. Its helical-gear primary drive and considerably oversquare engine dimensions (88 x 82 mm. bore and stroke) deviated from what was normal for the period. Laying the engine horizontal in the frame aided engine cooling, which also allowed for a low-slung chassis, while the geared primary drive saw the engine rotate in the reverse direction, another unused feature at the time. To smooth out vibration and enable a more compact crankcase unit, a large (280 mm.) flywheel was mounted externally. The lubrication system was exceptionally advanced, with an oil pump driven from the camshaft; this supplied oil to an external tank that was mounted in the air stream. The cyclinder head design employed aeronautical engineering techniques, with four parallel overhead valves operated by an overhead camshaft and driven by a shaft and bevel gears. Compression was a modest 3.5 : 1 and, with 12 horsepower, the prototype was capable of 62 miles per hour. The chassis had a tubular frame with twin front downtubes, an unsprung rear bolted triangle, and a girder fork and dual springs at the front.

First model features: Name: Moto Guzzi "Normale". Engine Type: four-stroke horizontal single. Bore/stroke: 88 x 82 mm. Displacement: 498.4 cc. Power: 8 HP at 3,200 RPM to 8.5 HP at 3,400 RPM. Compression ratio 4.0 : 1. Valves: Side inlet, overhead exhaust. Carburetion system: Amac 15 PSY 1 in. Gears: Hand-change 3-speed. Ignition: Bosch ZE 1 shielded magneto. Frame: Tubular duplex cradle. Front suspension: Girder fork. Rear suspension: Rigid. Wheels: 26 x 2¼. Tires: 26 x 3.00. Brakes: Expansion rear wheel. Wheelbase: 1,380 mm. Dry weight: 130 Kg. Top speed: 85 Km/h. Production: 2,065.

Interesting facts: The "Moto Guzzi Società Anonima" was established in Genoa, Italy, on March 15, 1921, with its headquarters in Mandello Tonzanico (now Mandello del Lario), Lecco. The three founders were: shipowner Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, his son Giorgio, and Carlo Guzzi, a former comrade in the Italian airforce. The emblem, a spread-winged eagle, was chosen in memory of their friend Giovanni Ravelli, a pilot who died on August 11, 1919 during a test flight. Carlo Guzzi's first horizontal four-strokes 500 cc. single-cyclinder engine estabilished a unique formula that immediately characterized Moto Guzzi motorcycles. The prototype, developed by Carlo and his older brother Giuseppe in 1919/20, was called the "G.P.", for "Guzzi-Parodi". The G.P. soon evolved into the production "Normale", which was announced in the December 1920 issue of "Motociclismo" magazine. The Normale appeared early the following year. While the G.P. had been a pure expression of Carlo Guzzi's engineering, economic necessity saw the Normale incorporating several updates, including the replacement of the exotic four-valve cylinder head and bevel-gear-driven overhead camshaft. With the appearance of the Normale, the company was estabilished, with the senior Parodi served as president. In addition to Carlo Guzzi and Giorgio Parodi, two other engineers were also involved: Carlo's Brother Giuseppe and Giorgio's cousin Angelo. While the total production of 1921 was a modest seventeen motorcycles, it was the beginning for one of the greatest italian motorcycles marque, and also one of the longest lived.

Property: © Moto Guzzi S.p.A. - © Piaggio & C. S.p.A.

Producer website:

Moto Guzzi G.P. 500 prototype review 1920
Moto Guzzi G.P. 500 prototype, announcement ("Motociclismo" magazine, Dec. 15, 1920)

Moto Guzzi G.P. 500 prototype - 1919-1920 - right
Moto Guzzi G.P. 500 prototype - 1919-1920 - left
Moto Guzzi G.P. 500 prototype (1919/20)

Moto Guzzi Normale 1920 - right/A
Moto Guzzi Normale 1920 - left/A
Moto Guzzi Normale 1920 - right/B
Moto Guzzi Normale 1920 - left/B
Moto Guzzi Normale, the first Moto Guzzi motorcycle (1921)

Moto Guzzi Normale engine - left
Moto Guzzi Normale engine - front
Moto Guzzi Normale engine - right
Moto Guzzi Normale engine (1921 - replica)

Moto Guzzi founders
Moto Guzzi founders. Left: Emanuele Vittorio Parodi (Genoa, ? - April 13, 1945), entrepreneur. Center: his son Giorgio Parodi (Venice, 1897 - Genoa, August 18, 1955), aviator. Right: Carlo Guzzi (Milan, November 4, 1889 - Davos, November 3, 1964), designer.

Moto Guzzi 95th anniversary 2016
Moto Guzzi celebrate the 95th anniversary (1921-2016) with a special edition of the Moto Guzzi Open House at the historical Mandello del Lario factory, 9 to 11 September 2016.


Winston design 1954
Winston design
Name: "Winston"

Category: Tobacco

Subcategory: Cigarettes

First producer: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (founded by Richard Joshua Reynolds in 1875)

Production start: 1954 - Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

Overview: Winston cigarette was introduced in 1954 by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the same manufacturer that launched the well known Camel cigarettes in 1913, and quickly became one of the top selling cigarette brands. The brand was named after its productions region Winston–Salem, North Carolina, USA. Winston cigarettes were first introduced in the New England area in March; shortly thereafter they were offered in the New York metropolitan market and gradually the distribution was extended to the other parts of the country. The famous advertising slogan for this brand was "Winston tastes good - like a cigarette should!": it was a long lasting slogan that showed up in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV advertisements for Winston cigarettes from the brand's launch in 1954 until 1972.

Slogan (1954): «Winston tastes good - like a cigarette should!»

Property: © R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company - © ITG Brands LLC - © Japan Tobacco Inc.

Product website:

Winston packaging 1954
Winston pack 1954
Winston cigarettes, first packaging (1954)

Winston advertisement 1954 - couple - A
Winston advertisement 1954 - couple - B
Winston cigarettes advertisements (1954)

Winston advertisement 1955 - couple - A
Winston advertisement 1955 - couple - B
Winston advertisement 1955 - couple - C
Winston cigarettes advertisements (1955)

Winston advertisement 1957 - comic strip - A
Winston advertisement 1957 - comic strip - B
Winston advertisement 1957 - comic strip - C
Winston cigarettes comic strips advertising (1957)

Winston cigarettes, animated and live action commercials (1954 to 1957)

Winston cigarette Anniversary editions
Winston cigarettes Anniversary editions. Left: 40 years, USA 1994. Center: 50 years, Romania 2004. Right: 60 years, Belarus 2014.

FV News: The first robot policeman

May 21, 2017 - DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

The first operational robot policeman in the world officially joined Dubai Police on Sunday, May 21, 2017. The autonomous Robocop, standing 170 centimetres tall and weighing 100 kilograms, is equipped with an emotion detector which can recognise gestures and hand signals from up to 1.5 metres away. The Robocop can also detect a person's emotions and facial expressions - whether the individual is happy, sad, or smiling - and has the ability to change his expression and greetings accordingly to put people at ease. Robocop can also transmit and communicate in six languages, including Arabic and English and more. It can also shake hands and offer a military salute.

The first robot policeman