The history of robotics is intertwined with the histories of technology, science and the basic principle of progress. Technology used in computing, electricity, even pneumatics and hydraulics can all be considered a part of the history of robotics.
The timeline presented is therefore far from complete. Robotics currently represents one of mankind’s greatest accomplishments and is the single greatest attempt of mankind to produce an artificial, sentient being. It is only in recent years that manufacturers are making robotics increasingly available and attainable to the general public.
1975 :Victor Schenman developed the Programmable Universal Manipulation Arm (Puma). It was widely used in industrial operations. 1975 The MITS ALTAIR was the first 8080 chip based kit computer and is arguably the start of the personal computer.
1977 :The Variante Masha, a six-legged walking machine, was created at the Russian academy of Science by Dr. Devjanin, Dr. Grufinkelt, Dr. Lensky, Dr. Schneider, and colleagues.
1978 :Shigeo Hirose created ACMVI (Oblix) robot. It had snake-like abilities. The Oblix eventually became the MOGURA robot arm used in industry.
1979 :The Stanford Cart crossed a chair-filled room without human assistance. The cart had a TV camera mounted on a rail which took pictures from multiple angles and relayed them to a computer. The computer analyzed the distance between the cart and the obstacles.
1979 :Hiroshi Makino of Yamanashi University designed the Selective Compliant Articulated Robot Arm (SCARA) for assembly jobs in factories.
1980 : Quasi-dynamic walking was first realized by WL-9DR. It used a micro-computer as the controller. It could take one step every 10 seconds. It was developed by Ichiro Kato at the Department of Mechanical Engineering School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Tokyo.
1981 :Shigeo Hirose developed Titan II. It is a quadruped which could climb stairs. Picture is of Titan III, which is a successor to Titan II.
1985 :Created by the General Robotics Corp. the RB5X was a programmable robot equipped with infrared sensors, remote audio/video transmission, bump sensors, and a voice synthesizer. It had software that could enable it to learn about its environment. 1985 Waseda Hitachi Leg-11 (WHL-11) was a biped robot developed by Hitachi Ltd. It was capable of static walking on a flat surface. It was able to turn and could take a step every 13 seconds. 1985 A four legged walking machine, Collie1, was developed by H. Miura at the University of Tokyo. The machine had 3 degrees of freedom per leg. 1985 The Melwalk3 was developed at Namiki Tsukuba Science City and was a six-legged walking machine.
1988 :The first HelpMate service robot went to work at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut.
1989 :Aquarobot, a walking robot for undersea use, was created at the Robotics Laboratory at the Ministry of Transport in Japan. 1989 Developed by Kato Corporation, the WL12RIII was the first biped walking robot which was able to walk on a terrain stabilized by trunk motion. It could walk up and down stairs and could take a single step every 0.64 seconds.
1990 :iRobot Corporation was founded by Rodney Brooks, Colin Angle and Helen Greiner and produced domestic and military robots.
1993 :Dante explored Mt. Erebrus in Antarctica. The 8-legged walking robot was developed at Carnegie-Mellon University. However, the mission failed when its tether broke. Dante II subsequently explored Mt. Spurr in Alaska in 2004. This was a more robust version of Dante I.