The Robot Junior is a compact and sturdy 35mm rapid advance camera. It was manufactured by Otto Berning & Co. of Dusseldorf, Germany between 1954 and 1960. This example is still in excellent working condition, a testament to its engineering and workmanship. Many models of Robot cameras were produced over the years, beginning with the Robot I in 1934.
Although Robots use 35mm film, early models required film to be loaded in special cassettes provided by Berning. At the time the first Robot was introduced, a standard 35mm cassette did not exist. Eventually Berning brought Robots to the market capable of using standard cassettes. The Junior model can use standard 35mm cassettes as well as the Robot N cassette.
The Robot Junior produces a square 24 x 24 mm image. The spring motor is wound by turning the large knob seen on the camera's top. The camera has a simple optical viewfinder, but no rangefinder. The lens, in an interchangeable screw mount, is a Schneider-Kreuznach Radionar 38mm f/3.5 with stops to f/22 that can focus as close as .5 meter. The shutter is a rotary design built into the camera body, located directly behind the lens mount. Shutter speeds are 1/2 to 1/500 second, plus bulb. The shutter has M and X flash synchronization. The frame counter is the manual-reset type.
Follow this link to see the USA patent for the original Robot camera. Although the Robot I design was twenty years old when the Robot Junior was introduced, the ingenious spring motor and shutter designs were virtually unchanged over the years.
Other spring-motor drive still cameras on this site are the Semi-Automatic Ansco rollfilm camera, ca 1924 and the Bell & Howell Foton 35mm camera, ca 1948.
Page created February 20, 2002; updated December 20, 2020