Robotics has ancient origins, but the modern robot concept developed when the industrial revolution started. With industrialization came the use of sophisticated machinery as well as electricity, which helped in powering up the robots using motors. The idea of a humanoid was created in the early 20th century, and today, we have advanced human-sized robots that have the potential to become more human-like with near-human movements and thoughts.
Robots that are real and imagined are:
In Greek Mythology, Pygmalion and Galatea are a myth about a sculptor from Cyprus who fell in love with his sculpture after he kissed it, and it felt warm. Pygmalion prayed to Venus (Aphrodite) to perform a miracle and bring the beautiful sculpture to life to make it his wife. The Goddess granted Pygmalion his wish, and they lived happily ever after. This was probably the first imagined idea of a humanoid as today, and roboticists are striving to make humanoids, which are human-like in appearance and movement, making them the modern-day Aphrodites.
2. Rossum’s Universal Robots
In 1921, the play by Karel Capek introduced the word robot, which in Czech means forced labor. These artificial laborers in the play were not made of metal, but chemical batter. These imaginary robots also turned murderous, which gave people the notion that robots were dangerous.
3. Maschinenmensch (1927)
Maschinenmensch was the humanoid robot which starred in a silent film by the name Metropolis in 1927. This robot was a gynoid or a female robot, and this has become an enormous problem today, with some robots fashioned after women and highly sexualized. This has led to robot fetishism, an attraction to humanoid robots or t humans who behave like robots.
4. Shakey (1966)
Shakey was a trembling machine created between the years 1966 and 1972. This machine was the first mobile and perceptive robot that was capable of navigating around obstacles. This was possible because of computer vision, which today allows computers to recognize items in photographs, and also allows autonomous vehicles to be more alert to their environment.
5. Stanford Cart
The Stanford Cart was an experiment that set to get machines to navigate without human intervention. It moved on four tires and used a car battery to power it.
6. Terminator (1984)
The Terminator in the 1984 movie Terminator could not feel pain. In their quest for perfection of the humanoid, roboticists intend for their humanoids to feel pain, just like humans do to keep it from hurting itself or going too far.
7. Mar Rovers (1997 to present day)
The four Mar Rovers have been roaming around the Red Planet since 1997. These rovers have become more sophisticated over time, and the Curiosity Rover can seek on its own the best rocks to use its laser on.
8. Asimo (2000)
The first humanoid robot by Honda in the year 2000 called the P1 stood an impressive six foot-two. Asomo, which is P1’s descendant, stands at slightly over 4 feet tall. Honda was experimenting on robots that could walk on two legs without face planting. Face planting is a skill that will be significant in exploring human environments such as nuclear reactors that have been decommissioned.
9. Da Vinci Surgical Robot (2000)
The Da Vinci surgical robot was unveiled in the year 2000 but is not meant to replace surgeons but complement their skills. The surgeons operate the instruments to allow the surgeons to perform precise surgical procedures.
10. Darpa Challenge Autonomous cars (2004)
In 2004, the Darpa Grand Challenge began the robocar revolution. The challenge was an arduous race through the desert and jumpstarted the current research into autonomous vehicles.
Robots have been a part of our lives for many decades, and they will be with us for a lot longer. As the years go by, robots become more advanced. Some robots have been pure imagination, while others have been actual projects. However, the world should be prepared for more sophisticated robots in the next few years, whether real or imagined.