Robots have always been a popular subject. From entertainment to media to technology, robots have figured prominently in how human beings look at the world and how we operate some of our most important industries today. Here are six things you might not know about robots.
Five Hundred Years?
One of the first designs for a robot was drawn up by none other than Leonardo Da Vinci in the late 1400s. It is known as the armored humanoid machine and is one of the most talked about, studied and imitated robotic designs in mechanical history.
Almost a Hundred Years
One of the first popular depictions of a robot in film was in Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis, which remains one of the most influential films in the history of the cinema. Fifty years after Metropolis was made, some credit the film as inspiration for George Lucas and Star Wars, another film that featured robots in central roles.
Some robots are capable of working alongside laboratory technicians and improving the processes used in their labs. Some companies are among numerous pioneers in the field of robots that can evaluate success from one application to the next and improve their results over time. For example, Hudson Robotics is one of the leading providers of lab automation solutions.
The first working humanoid robot was introduced in 1939 and named “Elektro.” It was seven feet tall and used 78 RPM records to simulate human conversation. Even with such a relatively primitive communications system, it was still able to command a vocabulary of over 700 words.
Build Your Own
Lego makes a home-built robotics kit even children can use called the Mindstorms system. By using a central microcontroller and CPU and building motors, support structures and motors around it, Mindstorms users can construct fully functional and programmable robots that can actually perform basic tasks, navigate around the room and make use of other electronic technologies like digital cameras, radios and even PCs.
The world’s smallest robot weighs less than one gram and can flap its wings almost like a housefly. It is made of carbon fiber and was invented in 2013 at Harvard University as part of the “Robo-Fly” project. The scientists and engineers involved in its design and construction believe it will one day be used in rescue operations in much the same way bomb disposal robots are used now.
Robots are only going to become more popular and more useful. We can be sure they will figure prominently as technology advances.