Special Report

100 Years of Robots: How Technology - And Our Lives - Have Changed

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11. Beast
> Year: 1960
> Made by: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab

Powered by many transistors, the Beast plied the hallways of Johns Hopkins University in the 1960s. When its battery started to run low, the Beast could regenerate itself using a recharging arm, finding outlets with a photocell optics.

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12. Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots
> Year: 1966
> Made by: Mattel

A must-have for kids growing up in the 1960s, this toy pitted two robots in a boxing ring. If one robot was skilled enough to land a sock to the jaw, the head of the opponent would spring upward, ending the match. It was introduced in 1964 by Mattel and is still popular.

13. Apollo 15 Lunar Rover
> Year: 1971
> Made by: NASA

Apollo 15 was the first NASA mission to employ a lunar rover in 1971. Astronauts David Scott and James Irwin assembled the 460-pound vehicle and drove it almost 17 miles while conducting experiments on the moon. They left the rover on the moon, one of three rovers still on the moon.

14. Shakey
> Year: 1972
> Made by: SRI International

The product of the Artificial Intelligence Center at SRI International, Shakey advanced the possibilities of robotics through its ability to reason. It could find routes and re-arrange objects. A Life magazine article called Shakey “the first electronic person.” The robot joined the Carnegie Mellon Robot Hall of Fame in 2004. It can be seen at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

15. Freddy II
> Year: 1973
> Made by: University of Edinburgh

Freddy II was a robot used for hand/eye coordination research in the 1970s at the Department of Machine Intelligence and Perception (later the Department of Artificial Intelligence) at the University of Edinburgh. Its robot arms were equipped with grippers affixed to an overhead gantry.