Cyberneticzoo.com has a couple of posts on Lawson and his robot. The one shown in Monday's photo was the 1938 model. Later in 1939 he built an improved model that, it was claimed, could control traffic, sing, light and smoke a cigarette and sit or stand.
Was it for real? I don't know, but Kettering has a history of being at the cutting edge of technology. They used to track early space missions at the town's grammar school.