ROBOT(1948)

Ashish Goyal

Student of IAS

 

Walter creates the first electronic robot. Robots,in one guise or another, had been suggested, as far back as 1945, when Leonardo Vinci created his mechanical knight robot. However, the first significant robot prototypes, built in 1948, were a pair of tortoise like robots named elmerandelsie. Created by United States – born Neuro-physilogist and inventor Dr. William Grey Walter(1910-1977), the tortoise robots were remarkable in their ability to mimic life like behaviour. These experimental robots incorporated sensors for light and touch, as well as motors for propulsion and steering, and a two-vacuum tube(valve) analog “computer”. With the aid of simple circuitry, these Electromechanical, three-wheeled robots were capable of photo axis(an automatic movement toward or away from light), and could thus find their own way to a recharging station when they ran low on “food”-aprecursor of the technique used in the popular sony aibo robot dog. Some sixty years later, using a combination of light-level and motor-power settings, four modes of operation were possible. This produced a variety of unique behaviour patterns in the one experiment. Dr.walter called his tortoises”machinaspeculatrix”. Designed to aid the study and testing of theories of behaviour arising from neural interconnections, these small robots with reflexes were hugely influential in the birth and development of the sciences of cybernetics and robotics .

 

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