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First chapter

Timeline of Robotic Innovations

automatic mechanical dolls 1700 In the Japanese Edo period, artisans build a wide variety of automatic mechanical dolls, called karakuri. They could carry a cup of tea to a guest or shoot with bow and arrow
automatic mechanical dolls 1700 Rodney Brooks and Anita M. Flynn publish the article Fast, cheap and out of control, promoting the development of small autonomous, biologically inspired robots (Behaviour-Based Robotics), instead of clumsy humanoids. An example is the six-legged insect-like Genghis, built in the same year. Genghis teaches itself to walk over obstacles.

HelpMate is the first service robot to be used practically. In the Danbury Hospital (Connecticut), HelpMate carries trays of food to patients. The company HelpMate Robotics was founded by Joseph Engelberger.
automatic mechanical dolls 1700 NASA's robot rovers Spirit and Opportunity start exploring the surface of Mars

A swarm of one hundred small autonomous Centibots, built by SRI International (USA), successfully work as a team in simple mapping and tracking tasks.

Start of the EU-project RobotCub: the 1-meter-hight humanoid robot Icub is created as a platform for research into human cognition and artificial intelligence. iCub looks like a 2-year-old toddler. It can move its head, arms and hands, waist and legs. It can see and hear and has sense of body configuration and movement.


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