The Technical University of Madrid and Google will be putting on a conference to celebrate the achievements of Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres-Quevedo. The conference will feature lectures and panel discussions exhibiting the man's many accomplishments on 7 November.
Torres-Quevedo was a famed Spanish engineer who lived from 1852 to 1936. During his lifetime he was herald for a variety of inventions in the fields of computing and civil engineering.
His first major invention came in 1887 when he built the funicular at Niagara Falls. The funicular, or Whirlpool Aero Car, is a railway that allows people to be transported up steep hillsides. In the case of Niagara Falls, the funicular takes visitors across the Fall's famed Whirlpool.
To power the Niagara Falls funicular Torres-Quevedo developed an electronic way to pull the train using ropes. The man's invention worked much the same way an elevator pulls a box up a building. The Niagara Falls funicular still stands today. Nearly a century after Torres-Quevedo built it.
Even more amazing than the Funicular is Torres-Quevedo's creation of the world's first chess playing machine. "El Ajedrecista", or The Chess Playing Machine, was an algorithmically powered machine that could play a game of chess with a human.
The machine used mechanical arms to move its chess pieces and detected its opponent's moves using electrical magnets. El Ajecdrecista deputed at the 1914 Paris World Fair and was herald as a marvel of human engineering.
Torres-Quevedo won't be the only brilliant mind of science to be recognized this year. Famed scientist Nikola Tesla will reportedly be honored with a new museum sometime in the near future. The Tesla Museum was a crowd-sourced endeavor led, in part, by the creator of the web comic The Oatmeal.
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