Hello Robot

Man has always been dependent on machines. Ranging from the crudest of sticks used as weapons for hunting to modern weapons of mass destruction, we are becoming increasingly dependent on machines. Many amongst us perceive machines as being necessary for the smooth functioning of our society.

It stands as a testament to our inventiveness that we are able to automate the many mundane aspects of our society’s functioning in order to make life easier. The next generation of machines are smarter, smaller and more energy efficient.

The evolution of electronic toys provides a striking resemblance to that of the evolution of Robotic technological advancement. From its initial stages of simple robots that are programmed to perform monotonous actions to highly sophisticated robots with artificial intelligence, we have come a long way in improving the quality of robots. Commercially, Sony and Tiger electronics have released popular ‘robo-pets’, which were highly successful. In the virtual world, automated programs built for specific purposes are popular. General consensus is that any machinery which is adaptable, can interact and manipulate its surroundings is considered as a robot. Bill gates latest vision of ‘a robot in every home’ could be as prophetic as his earlier vision of ‘a computer in every home’, which is now a true scenario.

History of Robot:

There have been rough prototypes of robots since ancient times. These included robots, which operated on steam, wind and water. Greek mathematician Arkittas had made a machine operated dove which could gain momentum using steam power. Alexander was reputed to have many self-operated machines, which were working using wind pressure and steam. In 1088, Su Sang had created a clock tower, which shows the time automatically in some part of China. In 1136 and 1206 AD a Muslim inventor named Al Zazari had developed a number of self operated machines like cooking equipments and water operated musical instrument. This human like robot had been used as a singer in boats and as an entertainer in the court of the king.

Nearly in 1495, Leonardo da Vinci had sketched a human shaped Robot. This sketch came into light in the year 1950 and was named as Leonardo Robot. This Robot was capable of sitting, shaking its hand, head and moving its jaws. This Robot design had been done like the structure of a human being. Between 1738 and 1739, Jacques Devaucanson had created different Robots of different sizes including duck robot, flute-playing Robot. The Duck robot was capable of playing with its wings. It could lengthen its neck; pick food from the visitors’ hand. During 1700, in Japan, a number of different large sized robots were designed, out of which a Robot named ‘Karakul’ was famous for being capable of offering tea. From 1799 and 1881, Japanese handicraft workers had designed a variety of Robots. In 1926, Westinghouse Electric Corporation created a large Robot called ‘Television’ which could do many complex works. Scientist Makato Nisimura had designed the Japanese robot ‘Gakutensoku’, which was the first man-sized robot. England was not far behind in these inventions. In 1948-1949, the first electronic, autonomous Robot called “Elmore and Elsi” was created by William Grey Walter had surprised the world. It was capable of detecting light and darkness and was even capable of communicating with external devices. The first modern Robot came into existence in the year 1954, created by George Davel and operated digitally. It was named ‘Uni met’ and Dave sold it to Genera motors.