Since ancient times, robots have existed in some form or another. Many cultures throughout history have had inventors and engineers attempt to build robots that resemble animals, humans, and machines. Automata, such as Archytas’ mechanical doves, are also mentioned in Greek mythology. When most people think of robots, they envision automated people capable of independent movement, controlled either by a virtual person or by mechanical means. Some robots are designed to look and act so much like humans that they appear to have their own intelligence. Robots can now perform dangerous tasks that humans would find too dangerous, such as disarming a bomb or traveling to places where humans cannot go.
The term “robot” is derived from the Czech word “robota,” which means “drudgery.”
Archytas of Tarentum created the first known robot in recent history in the 5th century BC. He was the one who invented the mechanical doves.
Leonardo da Vinci drew plans for a type of robotic machine in 1495. It was a humanoid with armor. Mark Rosheim, an engineer, has created a functional but miniature version for NASA to colonize Mars.
The first humanoid robot was Elektro. Westinghouse built it in 1939. It stood seven feet tall and possessed a 700-word vocabulary.
In 1981, a factory worker was killed by a robot. At the Kawasaki plant, a robotic factory arm crushed an employee.
More than one million industrial robots are estimated to be in use today, with Japan accounting for the vast majority.
Spirit and Opportunity are the two robots on Mars. They were designed to last 90 days on Mars, but they lasted for years. Curiosity is the most recent rover to land on Mars in order to explore the planet.
The US military has 4,000 robots that are used for reconnaissance in dangerous countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, where roadside bombs are common. Taliban fighters have discovered that by flipping ladders on top of these robots, they can disable them.
A robot vacuum cleaner was created that is capable of sensing its surroundings and cleaning the floor without the need for human assistance.
With characters like R2-D2 and C-3PO from the Star Wars film franchise, robots became even more popular in people’s imaginations.
Work is being done to create a microrobot capable of performing a biopsy on a patient from within the patient. It is being designed to swim in the same manner as the E.coli bacteria is moving.
Some people are concerned that robots will eventually take over the world and become their own species.
A robot powered by bacteria-filled fuel cells has been developed. The robot can generate electricity from dead flies to power its battery. It can also produce fuel from rotten apples.
A nanobot is the smallest robot. It measures less than one thousandth of a millimeter.
NES System Technologies in Japan recently developed a winebot capable of identifying a wide range of wines and cheeses. It made an error at one point and misidentified a reporter’s hand as prosciutto.