Tesla's radio-controlled boat, 1898

Tesla's radio-controlled boat, 1898

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Credit: NIKOLA TESLA MUSEUM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tesla's radio-controlled boat. This invention, by Serb-US physicist and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), was patented in 1898, and described as a 'teleautomaton'. This was US Patent number 613,809, dated 8 November 1898, titled 'Method of and Apparatus for Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vessels or Vehicles'. The invention did not catch on, despite attempts to sell it to the military. Tesla's research led to key advances in areas such as alternating current power generation and transmission. A type of transformer is named for him (the Tesla Coil), as is the SI unit of magnetic flux density.

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