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Evolution of Robots Throughout History

Updated on October 20, 2016

History of Robotics

Archimedes - Ancient Greek Mathematician (287-212 BC)
Archimedes - Ancient Greek Mathematician (287-212 BC)
The Antikythera Device
The Antikythera Device
Leonardo Da Vinci - Humanoid Robot
Leonardo Da Vinci - Humanoid Robot
Henry Ford's conveyor belt based assembly
Henry Ford's conveyor belt based assembly
1st Robot Lilliput
1st Robot Lilliput
Rovers on Mars
Rovers on Mars

Evolution of robotics - A quick overview of robots to modern times

As the holidays approach interesting new technologies and products are emerging for all ages. Over the last two decades technology has advanced significantly as we know with the creation of the internet, powerful hand held computers in our pockets (i.e. iPhone), and advanced technologies in toys/gadgets, In today's society in my opinion we take advanced technologies for granted.

The concept of robotics has been around for thousands of years and has continued to advance and evolve throughout the years. Archimedes (287-212BC) an ancient Greek mathematician did not invent a robot, however did invent many mechanical systems that are used in robotics today.

In 1901 a diver found a complex device between the islands of Crete and Kythera compromised of a mix of different gears that resembled a mechanical computer that may have been used to calculate the position of the moon, sun or other celestial bodies. The device was given the name of "The Antikythera Device" and dates back 2000 years.

Leonardo da Vinci best known as an artist however was also a scientist and an inventor. In 1495 he sketched plans for a humanoid robot.

In 1913 Henry Ford introduced the concept of robotics to car assembly lines installing the world’s first moving conveyor belt-based assembly line and the model-T car was assembled in 93 minutes.

In 1932 the 1st robot toy "Lilliput" was produced in Japan and was a wind-up toy which walked.

In 1964 IBM 360 become the first computer to be mass-produced.

In 1969 the U.S. successfully used robotic technologies to land Neil Armstrong on the moon.

In 1997 IBM computer "Deep Blue" beat the world chess champion Garry Kasparov.

We now have robots on Mars. NASA launched twin robotic rovers in 2003 called Spirit and Sojourner to explore and chart the planet Mars.

Its just amazing, if you take a minute to reflect, on the accomplishments of man-kind in reference to advancements in technologies in computers and robotics throughout our history. All kinds of robots are around us in many industries working behind the scenes. Personally i love new technologies - and advanced games, toys, gadgets, etc. is my past time. I remember one of the 1st cool robots by Sharper Image (the original Robosapien). My 5 year old son actually uses the robot today.

I wonder how technology, looking ahead in the future, will advance in robotics 20 years from now. As mentioned the concept of robotics dates back thousands of years. It would be really interesting to see the evolution of robotics in another thousand years. The first robot on TV i loved growing up was from the show "Lost in Space." Anyone remember the robots name?

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Over the years I have owned/tested various robots and learned the unique features of them. I have seen robotic technologies advance/progress significantly over the years. A robot that in my opinion that has molded many of the technological advancements on the market into one unit is Cozmo. Cozmo is a really cool and sophisticated robot with a varying personality types that continues to evolve with every interaction/s. Cozmo's personality is dependent on and evolves based on its interactions with family members in the household. Specifically he expresses emotions based on your specific interaction. He at times may feel playful or cranky and those emotions are displayed with voice responses and/or displayed emotions on it's screen. Again his interactions are based on your interactions, including everyone in your family. He learns from everyone and interacts with everyone. Cozmo is a learning robot that is curious about his environment and explores and continues to learn.

Lost in Space Trivia

What was the name of the robot in the television show "Lost in Space" that aired between the years 1965-1968?

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    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      10 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Robots have certainly come a long way over the years. I think in years to come they will have advanced so much they will rule the world.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 

      2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      One advertising agency produced a TV commercial some time ago for a car company (was it VW?). The scene was a production line without a two-legged, overall-wearing technician in sight and a voice-over told us, "...Hand-built by robots".

      World population is on the 'up road', jobs on the 'down'. Where do we draw the line on computerisation in manufacturing before we're all 'on permanent leave'? (Does that make me sound like a Luddite?)

    • blogreviews profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Yes computers/robots has definitely changed society/workplace both positively and negatively in my opinion. We have made tremendous strides in computer technologies for the benefit of man however capitalism does skew that positive side of this. It's really cool to see what the future brings, lets say 20 years from now but a side of me is cautious. All in all is interesting to see the advancement in the future.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 

      2 years ago from Placentia California

      Welcome to hub pages. It can be quite addictive. You may need a robot to help you with your writing. I remember in the 50's and 60's they said that computers and robots were going to take over most of the jobs and that people would have more leisure time. Boy were they wrong. The general purpose computer has changed the division of labor, so that now we have become slaves to the machines. With one computer, we can now be secretaries, accountants, presenters, and writers, all wrapped up in one machine.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 

      2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      We could use a robot - as long as it wasn't that sophisticated and refused to do the dishes or change the cat litter tray - in our house. (Even for all our laptops, computers, TVs and sound systems we haven't the room in the kitchen to fit a dishwasher!) Think you could get on top of it? We'll have the prototype and you can use us for your advertising.

      Aside from that, you've put together an informative article. As 'teaches' says, add a bio (adds the personal touch, and you can update it from time to time as necessary. I do, and use it to promote my books).

      TTFN, AL

    • blogreviews profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Nice to meet you Dianna. I'm glad you liked my article. I remember Robbie. Have a great night and be well.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      My hubby has a fascination with robots and owns a small collection. His favorite being Robbie from an old science fiction movie. I remember Robot from Lost in Space, very clever fellow. I enjoyed your article. You should post a bio on your homepage. People would be interested reading about you and your love of robots.

    • blogreviews profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Nice to meet you Jodah. Cant wait until it comes out.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Cool robot. I want one.


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