History of Robotics

  • 150

    Antikythera Mechanical Clock

    Antikythera Mechanical Clock
    An ancient mechanical clock was discovered off the coast of Antikythera. Scientists have been fascinated by the ancient relic and are trying to determine just what it was used for and how it operated.
  • Jan 11, 1206

    Early Crankshaft

    Early Crankshaft
    al-Jazari, ancient Mesopatamian inventor created an early form of the modern crankshaft in 1206. A crankshaft creates reciprocating motion, and is a very common device in modern times.
  • Jan 1, 1495

    DaVinci's Knight

    DaVinci's Knight
    Leonardo DaVinci built a mechanized robot to look and move like a knight. It is designed to give the impression that there is a real knight inside. This never had any practical purposes and was built mostly to amuse royalty.
  • Jan 1, 1495

    Robotic Arm

    Robotic Arm
    Leonardo da Vinci creates a robotic arm . The mechanical arm's name is the anthrobot and it has human rotation ability of a human arm.
  • Robot Monk

    Robot Monk
    A spanish robotic creation, the robotic praying monk is a copy off of a 14th century deisgn. It was created after a dead monk visited King Phillip II's son in a dream. The robot is "programmed" to complete a series of steps that involve prayer.
  • Period: to

    16th-19th century

  • Jacques's Automatons

    Jacques's Automatons
    Jacques de Vaucanson built three robots. the first could play a flute. It could play 12 songs in all. The second had the ability to play a flute and a drum. But his most famous was a robotic duck he created which could mimic the real life movements of a duck.
  • L'Ecrivain

    Swiss inventors Pierre and Henri Jacquet-Droz created a robotic chiled called L'Ecrivain. It used a mechanical brain to write messages that could go up to 40 characters.
  • Remote Control

    Remote Control
    Nikola Tesla creates the first remote controlled vehicles. His first one was a remote controlled boat which he demonstrated to a public audience.
  • Period: to

    20th century

  • Elektro

    Elektro was a robot created for the 1939 New York World's Fair. He was a humanoid robot that would talk, move, count, recognize colors, and smoke cigarettes.
  • Shakey

    Created by the Stanford Research Institute, shakey is the first robot to know and react to its own actions. This gives it the ability to not need a full set of instructions to complete a task. It uses reasoning to accomplish a simple goal.
  • The MacHack

    The MacHack
    Richard Greenblatt created a computer program with the ability to play chess. He created it in order to prove to Hurbert Dreyfus that a comoputer could beat him in a game of chess. And the program succeeded in its goal.
  • Gastrobot

    Chris Campbell and Stuart Wilkinson created gastrobot after a brewing incident. Gastrobot has the ability to digest organic material and produce carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide can be used for power.
  • Period: to

    21st Century

  • Period: to Jan 1, 1499

    1 AD to 15th Century


    Roomba is a robot designed by iRobot, a robotics company. It is a cleaning robot which uses sensor technology to vacuum. They avoid obstacles and can detect dirty spots on floors.

    BIGDOG was created by Boston Dynamics as an all-terrain robot. It moves in the fashion that a real dog would. It can manuver over most terrains and it has advanced sensors for detecting and observing the enviornment.

    On this date Honda releases its newest vresion of ASIMO. The world most humanoid robot. It is the first robot with the ability to walk dynamically, like a human being. It can mimic human movement almost perfectly.
  • Transforming robots

    Transforming robots
    A work inprogress, the MorphHex is a transforming robot designed by Kåre Halvorsen, in Norway. It has the ability to transform into a ball or to walk around almost like a beetle.