Home Computing Audio Reading

Bell & Howell MAILMOBILE Robot

Published 9 April 2019


Hi! My name is Egore and I am the Bell & Howell MAILMOBILE Mailroom Automation Robot. I am a robot that follows invisible tracks around the office. I can stop at pre-programmed locations so office administration staff can unload paper and mail administration activities. We have very rare footage showing the MAILMOBILE mail robot in operation. We have also added artwork from the Bell & Howell brochure that compliments this video nicely. The MAILMOBILE was marketed around 40 years ago as the ultimate office robot.

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A swarm of Bell & Howell MAILMOBILEs preparing to attack a defence office worker. Quick run!

These incredibly beautiful machines wonder the hallways of your office looking to pick up and drop off mail, small parcels and photocopying. MAILMOBILEs were often given endearing names by the staff. Amusing names include, Egor the Hunchback, and Molly McMail. The trend for whimsical names continues today with the infamous Boaty McBoatface that went horribly wrong for innocent competition organizers. We are sure that stickers and Post-It notes would have been tagged to these beauties as they wandered the hallways. Office robots may never be this appreciated.

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A search of the Internet couldn't dig up any examples of these office automation robots still in use today. Although, there are a number of robots sitting in museums on static display. This is a real pity because, by their very nature, MAILMOBILEs were made to move around and serve her human overlords. It is the dynamic interaction of the human-robot relationship that entices the imagination.

Bell & Howell MAILMOBILE mailroom automation robot

The office robot follows a guide on the floor that is either a track embedded in the floor or invisible fluorescent lines sprayed over existing surfaces. These machines are obviously limited to a single floor but can move over a variety of surfaces like Linoleum, carpet, and tiles. There is also a manual function for when the batteries drain out or the machine needs servicing. All manual controls are concealed in a panel on leading side of the robot.

Bell & Howell MAILMOBILE mailroom automation robot

Further Reading

Nobody knows mailroom automation like Bell & Howell does

Brochure (PDF)

Rhode Island Computer Museum, Molly McMcmail MAILMOBILE robot

RICM Mailmobile

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