The Word Robot has its root in the Slavic languages and means worker, compulsory work, or drudgery. It was popularized as a word for intelligent machines by the Czechoslovakian playwright Karel Kapek in Rossum’s Universal Robot 1921
1950s Isaac Asimov Came up with laws of robotics in I Robot
1. A robot may not injure a human being, or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the first law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.
American Heritage Dictionary: ro·bot (rbt, -bt) n.
1: A mechanical device that sometimes resembles a human being and is capable of performing a variety of often complex human tasks on command or by being programmed in advance.
2: A machine or device that operates automatically or by remote control.
3: A person who works mechanically without original thought, especially one who responds automatically to the commands of others.
1 a : a machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts (as walking or talking) of a human being; also : a similar but fictional machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often emphasized b : an efficient insensitive person who functions automatically
2 : a device that automatically performs complicated often repetitive tasks
3 : a mechanism guided by automatic controls
RIA defines a robot as: "A programmable multi-function manipulator designed to move material, parts, or specialized devices through variable programmed motion for the performance of a variety of tasks " (RIA)
McKerrow, in 1986 used "A robot is a machine which can be programmed to do a variety of tasks in the same way a computer is an electronic circuit which can be programmed to do a variety of tasks”
800 BC Homer describes walking tripods in the Iliad
350 BC Aristotle envisions mechanisms that work by "obeying or anticipating the will of others"
1801 Joseph-Marie Jacquard invents an automated textile loom controlled by punched cards
1892 Seward Babbitt designs a motorized crane and gripper to remove steel ingots from a furnace
1890s Nikola Tesla, after working briefly for Edison, demonstrates various radio-controlled vehicles, including a submersible boat
1926 Fritz Lang's movie Metropolis features Maria, a robot seductress
1939 For the New York World's Fair, Westinghouse Electric Corp. builds a mechanical man and dog: Electro danced, counted to 10, smoked, and described Westingouse's products -- and his dog walked, stood on its hind legs, and barked
1954 Devol designs a programmable factory robot (patent granted in 1961) aimed at "Universal Automation," later trimmed to Unimation. First commercial industry robot goes online in 1961 (Engleburger)
1976 NASA provides Mars landers with robot arms for its Viking I and II missions
1977 Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. introduces microcomputer-controlled robots
1977 Star Wars stars an android, C3PO, and a mobile robot, R2D2. By the early 1980s, R2D2 lookalikes are vacuuming floors and singing songs in
1978 Brooks Founded
1982 PRI Automation, founded in
1983 A six-leg walking robot is unwrapped by Odetics Inc.
1984 Brooks Introduces Frog Leg
1986 Honda Motor Co. launches a secret project to build a humanoid robot
1990 Robodoc, developed by Dr. William Bargar and Howard Paul of Integrated Surgical Systems Inc. and the University of California at Davis, performs a hip-replacement operation on a dog -- and in 1992, on a human patient
2000 At RoboCup 2000, three humanoid robots meet for the first time: Johnny Walker from the University of Western Australia, the Mk-II from Japan's Aoyama Gakuin University, and Pino from Kitano Symbiotic Systems Project