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  Report: Slave and Expert Systems

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  1940s - 1950s: The Development of Early Robotics Technology

During the 1940s and 1950s two major developments enabled the design of modern robots. Robotics generally is based on two related technologies: numerical control and teleoperators.

Numerical control was invented during the late 1940s and early 1950s. It is a method of controlling machine tool axes by means of numbers that have been coded on media. The first numerical control machine was presented in 1952 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), whose subsequent research led to the development of APT (Automatically Programmed Tools). APT, a language for programming machine tools, was designed for use in computer-assisted manufacturing (CAM).

First teleoperators were developed in the early 1940s. Teleoperators are mechanical manipulators which are controlled by a human from a remote location. In its typical application a human moves a mechanical arm and hand with its moves being duplicated at another location.

browse Report:
Slave and Expert Systems
    Introduction: The Substitution of Human Faculties with Technology: Early Tools
-3   1913: Henry Ford and the Assembly Line
-2   1940s - Early 1950s: First Generation Computers
-1   1950: The Turing Test
0   1940s - 1950s: The Development of Early Robotics Technology
+1   1950s: The Beginnings of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research
+2   Late 1950s - Early 1960s: Second Generation Computers
+3   1961: Installation of the First Industrial Robot
1980s: Artificial Intelligence (AI) - From Lab to Life
Robot relates to any automatically operated machine that replaces human effort, though it may not resemble human beings in appearance or perform functions in a humanlike manner. The term is derived from the Czech word robota, meaning "forced labor." Modern use of the term stems from the play R.U.R., written in 1920 by the Czech author Karel Capek, which depicts society as having become dependent on mechanical workers called robots that are capable of doing any kind of mental or physical work. Modern robot devices descend through two distinct lines of development--the early automation, essentially mechanical toys, and the successive innovations and refinements introduced in the development of industrial machinery.