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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 February 2007, 08:35 GMT
TV remote inventor dies aged 93
Remote control device
Adler produced a device using ultrasonic signals
Robert Adler, a US inventor best known for the creation of the couch potato's dream device, the TV remote control, has died at the age of 93.

He received an Emmy award in 1997 for the 1956 invention jointly with fellow engineer Eugene Polley.

Adler earned more than 180 US patents throughout his 58-year career.

His widow Ingrid said the remote was not his favourite invention, that he rarely watched television and was "more of a reader".

"He was a man who would dream in the night and wake up and say: 'I just solved a problem,'" she told the Associated Press news agency.

"He was always thinking science."

Adler began working for electronics corporation Zenith in 1941 and stayed at the company until a merger in 1999.

Zenith produced the first remote control device, attached to the TV by a cord, in 1950.

Later wireless devices communicated with the TV by flashing at photo cells in the TV, but these were affected by sunlight.

Adler's contribution was to create a device which used ultrasonic signals.

He was also known for his work on military communications equipment during World War II, and is considered a pioneer in surface acoustic wave technology, essential for modern-day TV sets.

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