3. Ancient Robots/Visions
350 (B. C.)
A Greek mathematician called Archytas of Tarentum built a mechanical bird dubbed ‘the pigeon’ that works on steam. It is one of history’s earliest investigations on flight and the first model airplane.
322 (B. C.)
A Greek philosopher Aristotle states that “If every tool, when ordered, or even of its own accord, could do the work that befits it... then there would be no need either of apprentices for the master workers or of slaves for the lords.”
200 (B. C.)
A Greek inventor and physicist Ctesibus of Alexandria designed a water clock that has movable figures on it. Up until then the Greeks used hour glasses that had to be turned over after all the sand ran through. Ctesibus invention was more efficient because it measured time as a result of the force of water falling through it at a consistent rate.
1495 (A. D.)
Leonardo Da Vinci designed a humanoid robot that looks like an armoured knight. The mechanisms inside are supposed to help it move like a human being.
1738 (A. D.)
Jacques de Vaucanson began building robots in France. He built three robots. His first was a flute player that played twelve songs. The second was a musician that could play flute, drums or the tambourine. The third and most famous robot was called the duck. It was a robot that looked like a duck, it moved, it quacked, it could flap it’s wings and even digest food (resulting in something
coming out the other end minutes later).
1770 (A. D.)
Swiss clock makers and inventors created three dolls, each with a unique characteristic. One can write, another plays music, and the third one draws pictures.
Charles Babbage is often known as the "Father of the Computer" and his work lives on as the foundation for the binary numbering system that is the basis of modern computers.
George Boole creates what is now know as Boolean logic/algebra.
Nicola Tesla creates a working remote controlled robot boat.
4. • The worlds first ever industrial robot, Unimate, was installed on a General motors production
line in New Jersey 1961. Weighing nearly a tonne, it was a basically a giant robot arm. It’s
instructions programmed on a huge magnetic drum told the arm to stack and weld hot
pieces of metal over and over again.
• IRB 6 was the first electronic industrial robot that was controlled by a microcomputer. It
had 16KB of RAM, it was programmable and it could display four whole digits with it’s LEDs.
Developed by a Swedish engineering company in 1974, (ABB) this robot was designed to
perform inauspicious tasks like polishing tubes, but it was a crucial start towards developing
robots that were easier to program.
• In 1981 the first industrial robot with sight built on yet again on a General Motors production
line, implementing a system called Consight, in which three separate robots could use
visual sensors to sort out and choose six different kinds of auto parts as 1,400 parts per hour
are moved on a conveyor belt.
• In 1921 a Czech writer Karel Capek introduced the term robot in one of his plays. Robot in
Czech comes from the word robota, meaning "compulsory labor“.
The First Robots/Achievements
5. More Modern Robots
Baxter is one of the first humanoid robots. It is almost two metres tall, weighs 136kg and has a screen for a face. It also has a vaguely human shaped torso
and two arms. But more importantly, it can be quickly programmed to do almost anything. If a factory worker or a researcher has a task to do, Baxter can
most likely handle it, as long as it’s lifting less than 2.2kg, because it’s arms are not of industrial strength. Unfortunately, Baxter despite it’s somewhat human
appearance can’t move or speak but scientists are always looking for improvement.
The WABOT 1 is considered to be the full scale humanoid robot. Developed by researchers at Waseda University in Japan 1973, it has arms legs and a vision
system. It could walk, it could pick things up with it’s hands and it could even talk. Except that it could only reply to pre-recorded responses to very specific
statements, and it took 45 seconds to take one step. This robot and it’s successor WABOT II were a really big deal. The two robots pointed out one important
fact: it’s much easier to design a robot than doing one task at the same task.
BEAR was constructed in 2005 as a military robot. Unlike with humanoid or even single task robots, in the military robot design is more about function that form.
BEAR has some humanoid components such as a head and two arms, but instead of walking like a human, it’s legs were in treads, like a tank. The legs have
a joint that acts similar to a knee except it can rotate all the way around. Using their special limb design, BEAR has been good at moving through rough
terrain (including stairs). It can climb through debris, carry an injured soldier back to base, it can carry light loads, you can tell it to go to a location and it will
go there. The military is helping us (just one of the ways) by leading the way in robotics.
DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) is a division of the U. S. A. defence that has been working for the past 50 years working to turn even
the wackiest of concepts into working technology, and it’s been one of the most active promoters in the field of robotics. DARPA has stoked innovation by
holding robot competitions, it holds competitions for autonomous vehicles where robotic cars compete in a race, hundreds of kilometres across the Mojave
Desert, and in the summer of 2015, 11 cars owners will compete in the final still hosted by DARPA with human supervised robots will try to carry out kind of
complex and dangerous tasks associated with disaster response like scrambling over debris and carrying things to safety. The aim is to develop robots that
can be sent into risky situations.
MIT researchers who built a robotic cheetah have now programmed it to see and jump over hurdles as it runs making it the first four-legged robot to run and
jump over obstacles autonomously. To jump while running, the robot plans out its path like a human. When it detects an approaching item, it estimates that
object’s height and distance. The robot gets into the best position that it can jump from, and adjusts its stride to land just short of the obstacle, before putting
in enough force to jump. Based on the hurdle’s height, the robot then applies a certain amount of force to land safely, before continuing its original speed.
Honda’s Asimo can walk at speeds of 6km per hour, go up and down steps, carry a tray, etc. He is not available to buy, but merely an spokes model for what
the future of robotics might look like.
6. Today robots are machines designed to help us perform a task. Another definition is that a
robot uses it’s programming to make decisions. Sometimes, robots are built because when
a human does a certain task it is difficult, risky or time consuming. Common features of
Sensors for input
Control systems for decision making
Effectors and motors for output
Take packaging machines for example. If humans were to package items, it would be difficult
to construct and place on the layers of plastic, cardboard etc. Packaging machines do it in a
quicker and easier routine, and in the case of food, less germy. Also, they have a sensor to say
are these contents packaged? Then the Control system decides what to do with that output. E.
g. Yes these contents are packaged, move the conveyor belt so I can check the next one. The
effector/motor is the conveyer belt. These days, industrial robots are advanced enough that it is
normal for a factory to install a robotic assembly line that handles nearly all of it’s production,
and some industrial are heading in the more general purpose use, like Baxter, the humanoid
industrial robot (see pg. 4). We are lucky to have robots to aid us, so thank the ancient people
for their dreams of creating robots and artificial intelligence.
WIKIPEDIA, A BRIEF HISTORY OF ROBOTICS (YOUTUBE),
HTTP://ROBOTICS.MEGAGIANT.COM/HISTORY.HTML(WEBSITE ) &
Thanks For Reading!