History of robotics

Robots were developed during an evolution that is enriched by other revolutions such as computer and now with inputs from mobiles, by using a mobile as the brain of the robot.
It has no milestone, but only successive progresses, an evolution step by step from automata to androids.

From Archytias to Vinci

This Plato contemporary Greek philosopher (428-347 BC) is considered the founder of mechanics as a mathematical discipline. This concerns the laws of motion and not the art of building mechanisms. It is derived in quantum mechanics and relativistic mechanics and therefore far of mechanical objects.

He is described as one of the leading manufacturers of animated objects through a mechanical bird he called the "pigeon", made of wood and capable of flying 200 meters. But using a propulsion system, compressed air, fixed wing and connected to a pulley and a counterweight, it is a primary automaton rather than a robot.

Leonardo da Vinci in 1495 has drawn up plans for a robot, by reproducing in mechanical parts the human anatomy.

Automata and machines

They have existed since ancient times and became popular in the 18th century as objects of entertainment. These machines are often looking human.
Jacques de Vaucanson in 1738 carries an automaton in human form who plays a woodwind instrument, and an artificial duck.

But the Jacquard loom in 1801 gives automata a practical role, it was the beginning and industrial machinery.

In agriculture, a shift is made from plowing instruments which are actually tools, to machines capable of harvesting, threshing and mowing which are real productive automata.

More on automata.

Karel ńĆapek and fiction

In 1921, the word "robot" appeared for the first time in the book R.U.R (Rossum's Universal Robots). Is an abbreviation of "robota" which means "forced labor" in Czech. The book is about an artificial man, with intelligence, to take the role of worker.

The idea was echoed by the filmmaker Fritz Lang in Metropolis in 1927. The robots are used more as caricatures of the servants of the Nazi regime. There are already negative and pessimistic view of robotics that will spread to the cinema with films like Terminator and 2001.
Considered as instruments, robots in fiction serve only to enhance the human. Asimov, however, try to see a little further than that.

R.U.R on Google Books.

Laws of robotics

Although with unwavering obstinacy, journalists attribute these three laws to the writer Asimoz they were actually from his own words first expressed by John Campbell in a conversation they had on 23 December 1940. The writer has then introduced them into his novels.

  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 any orders given to 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.

These laws are supposed to protect us from the robots when they will gain enough intelligence to act by themselves. But for their correct interpretation enter in practice, we will probably need to establish courts between men and robots.


A bioloid is a standalone machine reproducing a species. The advantage is that they can, like the originals, be better suited to one type of environment. The robot lizard has the best possible shape for climbing walls, the robot fish to evolve into the water.

Examples of bioloids.

Humanoid robots

It is the culmination of robotics. They can be equipped with a mechanical body with limbs and organs similar to those of humans or ideally androids that have the appearance of human thanks to a synthetic silicone skin similar to that of man.
The existing models in 2010 are able to speak, walk, recognize a face, working with men.

An important step in humanoid robotics is accomplished with the implementation of humanoid robots at work, as opposed to industrial robots which are dedicated machines, humanoid robots can, themselves, interact with men.

The Hajime restaurant at Bangkok is equipped, like many others, with robots servers. The Fua-Men in Japan employs robots cooks.

Humanoid robots.

Ordering and payment in a robotics restaurant. Video. The robot name is Furo.

See also