For 2,000 years we humans have wanted to build machines that look like us. For a long time, automatons were the best that contemporary engineers could produce. Humanoid robots did not emerge until 1970. Prior to that, they belonged to the world of science fiction.
In 1912, Robert Herdner presented an automaton that was named after a nurse. Using gears, levers, cords, return chains and a spring as a drive, she could hand surgical instruments to the doctor.
Robots in industry
In 1961, the car manufacturer General Motors introduced the first movable robotic arm known as Unimate. The picture shows a man bottling radioactive isotopes using a robotic arm.
Like a real animal
In 1951, W. Gray Walter presented a robot turtle that moved towards light, fled from too much light and dodged when it encountered an obstacle. This was achieved thanks to a photocell, a touch sensor and two vacuum tubes.
Use in anatomy
Lumena was a transparent, talking robot that helped medical students to learn the female anatomy from 1950 onwards. 11 kilometers of cabling were used for the detailed depiction of veins, nerves and organs.
Robots are mortal too
Sim One was the first android robot for the training of anesthetists. Developed in 1967, it could breathe, had a beating heart, blinked, opened its mouth, and responded to medication. And when doctors made a mistake it died.