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What Is The First Robot In The World? Illustrative Photo DARPA
Contents

Early conceptions of robots

One of the first instances of a mechanical device built to regularly carry out a particular physical task occurred around 3000 B.C.: Egyptian water clocks used human figurines to strike the hour bells. In 400 B.C., Archytus of Taremtum, inventor of the pulley and the screw, also invented a wooden pigeon that could fly. Hydraulically-operated statues that could speak, gesture, and prophecy were commonly constructed in Hellenic Egypt during the second century B.C.

In the first century A.D., Petronius Arbiter made a doll that could move like a human being. Giovanni Torriani created a wooden robot that could fetch the Emperor's daily bread from the store in 1557. Robotic inventions reached a relative peak (before the 20th century) in the 1700s; countless ingenius, yet impractical, automata (i.e. robots) were created during this time period. The 19th century was also filled with new robotic creations, such as a talking doll by Edison and a steam-powered robot by Canadians. Although these inventions throughout history may have planted the first seeds of inspiration for the modern robot, the scientific progress made in the 20th century in the field of robotics surpass previous advancements a thousandfold.

When was the first robot in the world invented?

More than 4,000 years ago or seems that ancient Egyptians invented statues that mimic humans in the performance of their work using mechanical operating systems, which represented the first forms of robots in the world, the so-called “automatons”.

They are based on the use of self-propelled and operating machines, according to a new study, Egypt Independent reported.

What was its name?

Scientists from the Metropolitan Museum named this innovative mechanical statue which simulates humans, “Hathor”, believing that it was made more than 3,000 years ago to mimic the symbol of motherhood, music and singing in ancient Egypt, “Hathor”.

How did the robot work?

What Is The First Robot In The World?
Photo Egypt Independent

The discovery was made through a wooden statue that has been in the Metropolitan Museum of Art for many years without anyone knowing its secret, until specialists in Egyptology x-rayed it to reveal a mechanical operating system inside it, working by a pulley-like axis. It overlaps with the shoulder of the female statue shown in the picture below, which is rotated by a system of threads that go through the left leg, and hidden inside the body of the statue.

When it rotates, it produces repeated movements by the mechanical statue, raising and lowering its hands.

The oldest forms of mechanical models date back to the era of the Middle Egyptian Empire about 4,000 years ago, and it is a theater on which three dwarves, operated by a system of interlocking rollers and strings to perform dance movements, stand.

Moving statues

Egyptian texts from 1100 BC also reported details of moving statues built using mechanical technology in ancient Egypt.

Moving statues were first documented by priests of Ammon around 1100 B.C in ancient Egypt. These statues were reported to choose the next ruler from the male members of the royal family. It is entirely possible that these artifacts were built. Ancient Egyptians had enough knowledge of mechanics to develop a non-digitized machine based on a system of ropes and pulleys.

The Greek Ctesibius of Alexandria built an automaton operated by cams, and the statue could only stand and sit for use in processions. Though his writings did not survive, later ancient engineers used his techniques on hydraulic systems.

Is there any other ancient robot that was built without modern technology?

Although they did not use today’s advanced technology, some are still considered engineering marvels.

The Praying Monk

Photo wonderfulengineering
Photo wonderfulengineering

Gianello Torriano was one of the best clockmakers in Italy during the 1500s. He was employed by Emperor Charles V in 1529. Torriano tried to cure emperor’s depression by making little automatas for him. Torriano had miniature soldiers engaged in battle on the dining table.

He reportedly carved little birds from wood that could fly in the rooms and even out of the windows. One such creation, the Lady lute player, can still be seen at Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

But perhaps it is the praying monk that is the most impressive one. The wood and iron automaton walks in a square while raising and lowering a rosary with its left arm and kissing it once in a while. It can turn and nod its head, roll its eyes, and murmur silent prayers with its lips. This creation is still preserved in Smithsonian Institute.

The Flute Player

Photo wonderfulengineering
Photo wonderfulengineering

Jacques de Vaucanson is renowned in making mechanical devices that mimic human abilities. When he was a child, Jacques studied a church clock as he waited for his mother to finish confession. Jacques memorized all of its parts and was able to recreate it at home. Once the inventor was ill, he dreamed of a mechanical flute player in his delirium. First shown to the public on February 11, 1738, it was a remarkable feat as even humans find it difficult to play the flute in tune. Notes are produced not just by the dexterity of fingers and breath but also through the amount of air blown and how the flutist shapes the lips. Even after all those complications, Jacques built a machine that could play 12 different tunes. Through a system of bellows, pipes, and weights, Jacques was able to control the air flowing through the passageways. Even the movement of lips was controlled.

The Writer

Photo wonderfulengineering
Photo wonderfulengineering

This was made by Pierre Jacquet-Droz, Swiss-born watchmaker, in the late 1770s, and it is still on display at the Neuchatel Museum of Art and History west of Bern, Switzerland. The small three-year-old boy writes quickly with a goose feather quill in his right hand, his eyes follow what he writes, and he even shakes the quill pen after dipping it in the ink pot. The writer is programmable as it can write any text up to 40 letters.

The first modern robots

The earliest robots as we know them were created in the early 1950s by George C. Devol, an inventor from Louisville, Kentucky. He invented and patented a reprogrammable manipulator called "Unimate," from "Universal Automation." For the next decade, he attempted to sell his product in the industry, but did not succeed. In the late 1960s, businessman/engineer Joseph Engleberger acquired Devol's robot patent and was able to modify it into an industrial robot and form a company called Unimation to produce and market the robots. For his efforts and successes, Engleberger is known in the industry as "the Father of Robotics."

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