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You can help rebuild Eric, one of the world's first robots

Built in 1928, the talking automaton mysteriously vanished -- but a crowdfunding campaign by London's Science Museum plans to bring the retro robot back to life.

Eric the British robot, who wowed crowds in 1928.

Science Museum

One of the first ever robots could rise again, with your help. The Science Museum in London is crowdfunding a project to rebuild Eric, a British robot built in 1928 less than a decade after the word "robot" was first used.

Eric was built by Captain W. H. Richards and A.H. Reffell to give a speech at the Society of Model Engineers, just a few years after the word "robot" was first coined in the play "R.U.R." by Karel Čapek. With lightbulbs for eyes and sparks shooting out of his mouth, Eric toured the world. Sadly, at some point the vintage automaton vanished without trace.

The Kickstarter campaign will see scrap artist and roboticist Giles Walker rebuild Eric from original imagery. Incentives to back the campaign range from t-shirts, tote bags and paper versions of Eric to a place at the exhibition's launch party or a tour of the museum.

Eric will go on display in London in October, and will then be the star of the museum's robot-themed exhibition opening in February 2017. Eric will then travel the world once again -- perhaps even meeting some eerily lifelike descendants.