A Brief History of Robotics

What is a Robot

The term Robot is used incorrectly, the correct definition of a robot is something that is a piece of machinery designed to complete a set task, so we bring you a brief history of robotics. When this definition is used it gets easy to class every machine ever built as a robot, but in actuality robots are machines that use their programming to make decisions.

When a human makes a decision, they will process some initial information and send that to the brain, the brain will decide what to do about it and send the message of what to do to some part of our body. Computers contain sensory inputs and effectors which will detect things. The decision in a robot is processed by a central control system and while all of this sounds simple enough, making each individual component of a robot is extremely difficult and the process of developing them throughout history has been challenging but amazing.

The History of Robots

Robotics began to be useful in the industry sector, with the first one being developed in 1961 and was installed on a production line of a motors production company in Germany. Its function was to weld pieces of metal together. The first generation of robots came from this in the form of giant mechanical arms that were very basic and hard to power. In 1974 the first robotic arm powered by a microcomputer came into the electrical industry and was a break through as it was so easy to programme.

The next step in robotics was the search for artificial intelligence, I don’t mean this in the sense of the film A.I. where they look walk talk and act like humans, I mean in the sense that a robot can complete a task that would normally be done by a human. In the case of industrial robotics this was first achieved in 1981 when robots were given the gift of sight.

Since this development robots have been advancing more and more, to a point where human workers in a factory are basically not needed unless to run the robots that do the work. The first humanoid robot appeared in 1973 and again this is something we have been developing ever since. Robots are becoming more advanced every day and we are so close to finding the signs of genuine intelligence.