How Automatons Helped Predict the Future of Robotics

Concepts of robotics have been floating around the human consciousness since 3500 BCE. Centuries before the term “robot” (literally, “forced labor” in Czech) was coined, philosophers, engineers, and mathematicians attempted to build analog mechanical creations called automatons, capable of mimicking organic function. It’s important to point out that automatons are specifically not robots in the way we understand today; under most modern definitions robots need both electricity and some sort of artificial intelligence. In fact, most automatons of yore are closer to puppets than the robots we recognize today, but we can’t underestimate the influence automatons had on the development of the latter. It was through automatons that concepts of a robotic work forces, sentient androids, and even mechanical organs were predicted. The Ancient Greeks The Greeks were heavy into…


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