Home: CommuniCore East in Epcot Center, October 1982-
January 1994; Concourse Steakhouse at the Contemporary Resort 1994-2000.
Appearance: Small, purple and chrome robot set on a rotating
pedestal surrounded by telephones.
Quotes: “If I keep this up I might graduate from Solid
Description: SMRT-1 was part of the Computer Central exhibit
sponsored by Sperry and later Unisys. The small, adorable robot acted as a
demonstration of voice recognition technology by playing games with guests. In
one example, SMRT-1 would display a list of animals on a piezoelectric display
board and ask the player to select one. He would then ask the player a series
of yes or no questions through a telephone handset to arrive at the answer. It
also spent some time ad-libbing and singing between games: “If I keep this
up I might graduate from Solid State.” After the closure of CommuniCore in
1994, SMRT-1’s shell, long silent, could be seen for several years in the
Contemporary Resort Hotel’s Grand Canyon Concourse as a piece of restaurant
decor. Rumor has it that the robot was sold after SMRT-1 suffered an accidental
fall at the Steakhouse that caused minor damage in 2000, the current location
of SMRT-1 is a mystery.
I recently held a Twitter contest and drew a free sketch for the winner! The winner chose classic EPCOT Center! Here you’ll see characters and logos from Journey into Imagination, Communicore, The Land, Horizons, Spaceship Earth, The Living Seas and World of Motion!
Follow me on Twitter at ashley24taylor or email LoveAshleyDesigns@gmail.com for commissions!
These concepts are from a time when EPCOT was transitioning from the full-blown city Walt Disney had planned to build to the more traditional theme park it eventually became. In the mid-70’s there were still plans to have commercial entities doing real research at EPCOT.
The 1975 Annual Report describes the Future World Theme Center:
“The EPCOT Future World Theme Center, a high-capacity visitor facility which will employ advanced communications techniques, including motion pictures, models, multi-media exhibits and ride-through experiences, to inform millions of people each year about what is being done in the creative centers of science and industry around the world. Most importantly, it will demonstrate how these new technologies and ideas can be applied in a practical way to improving the environment for living in existing communities throughout America and the world.”
We also get the origin of Communicore, the “Communications Corridor”.