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You don’t have to be a fan of science fiction films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey to have an appreciation—or fear—of robots.
It’s funny to think that robots have been around for over two-hundred years…so the idea of an animated humanoid is certainly nothing new.
A Brief History of Robots
1810—Friedrich Kauffman, a German inventor, created the first humanoid robot in Dresden, Germany. The robot was soldier with a trumpet and was a main stay at World Fairs and the like for almost 150 years.
1928—Eric, was created by W.H. Richards. Eric’s body consisted of aluminum, and held eleven electromagnets. Powered by a twelve-volt battery, Eric could move its arms and head via remote control or voice command.
1939—Westinghouse Electric Corporation created “Elektro,” a seven-foot tall robot that used a record player to “speak” 700 words. Elektro could also smoke a cigarette (remember, this is pre-World War II when cigarettes were touted as almost healthy) and inflate a balloon.
1948—William Grey Walter created the first robots that were powered electronically. Much like a moth is drawn to light, Walter’s robots, Elmer and Elsie used phototaxis to “find” a charging station when they were low on power.
1954—Unimate, the first digitally operated and programmable robot was created by George Devol. This advancement in robotics paved the way for the modern robot. Devol sold Unimate to General Motors in 1960, making it the world’s first industrial robot.
1956—the term “Artificial Intelligence,” is first coined at a Dartmouth College conference.
1969—Victor Scheinman introduces his Stanford Arm. Similar to function to Devol’s invention, the Stanford Arm stands as the first elelctronic computer controlled robotic arm; whereas Unimate’s protocols were stored on a magnetic drum.
1981—The Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA) was introduced. Developed by Hiroshi Makino, SCARA was important due to its parallel-axis joint, which enabled it to mimic the motion of a human arm.
1992—Honda creates the P1. However, Honda did not release news of its invention until 1996, when it unveiled the P2. These robots are bipedal, and a clear advancement for humanoids.
Late 90s—Kismet is created by Dr. Cynthia Breazeal. Kismet, which is basically just a robotic head, is important to robotics in that it was the first to utilize a social intelligence software system. In other words, Kismet possesses rudimentary social skills.
2014— Robots become self-aware and begin destroying human life as we know it….wait you haven’t heard about this yet?
Relax, I’m just kidding.
The only robots we need fear are the kind that extract information via nefarious web-scraping techniques. These “bots,” can be ruthless in their ability to extract sensitive data from your computer or your company’s mainframe.
You can beat a bot by implementing excessive traffic monitoring, and by implementing file integrity monitoring.
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