Coding Ireland STEM Report 2024 Have Your Say
20 mins
95 points
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History of robotics

In this lesson, we'll learn about the history of robotics, from the earliest mechanical devices to modern robots equipped with advanced sensors and artificial intelligence. We'll explore the impact of robotics on society and the future of this exciting field. By the end of the lesson, we'll have a better understanding of how robotics has changed the way we live and work.

Learning Goals Learning Outcomes

1 - Introduction

Welcome to our journey into the fascinating world of robotics! Did you know that the concept of robotics has been around for a long time, even before the term 'robot' was coined? It all started with simple mechanical devices in ancient times.

But the real game-changer was the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries, which set the stage for the modern robotics we know and love today. So, let's dive in and explore how these machines have evolved over time and how they're changing our world.

2 - Exploring the First Mechanical Devices

Let's travel back in time to the era of ancient Greeks and Romans. They were the pioneers in creating the first mechanical devices. These devices were not like the robots we know today, but they were impressive for their time. They created things like water clocks, mechanical birds, and automata. These machines were powered by natural forces like water and could perform simple tasks. For instance, a water clock could tell the time, and a mechanical bird could move on its own.

Your task is to research more about these early mechanical devices. Try to find answers to the following questions:

  1. What were some other mechanical devices created by the ancient Greeks and Romans?
  2. How did these devices work?
  3. How did these early inventions influence the development of modern robotics?

3 - The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was a crucial period in the evolution of robotics. It was during this time that mass production and factories became prevalent, leading to the development of machines capable of executing more intricate tasks.

For instance, some machines were designed to weave cloth or assemble other machines. Initially, these machines required manual operation, but as technology advanced, they became increasingly automated.

Research more about the role of the Industrial Revolution in the history of robotics. Look for information about the types of machines that were developed, how they were used, and how automation started to take shape during this period.

4 - Early robots

The term 'robot' was first introduced in a play in 1920, and the creation of the first modern robots took place in the 1950s.

These initial robots were typically large and difficult to handle, and were primarily utilized in industrial environments. Their main advantage was their ability to carry out repetitive tasks at a speed and efficiency that surpassed human capabilities.

Explore more about these early robots, their design, and their uses.

  1. Research about the play where the term 'robot' was first used.
  2. Find out more about the first modern robots developed in the 1950s. What were they called? Who invented them? What were they used for?
  3. Reflect on how these early robots might have impacted the industries they were used in.

5 - Advancements in Robotics

As technology has progressed, robots have become more advanced too. Today's robots come equipped with high-tech sensors and artificial intelligence. These features enable them to adapt to different environments and make decisions based on the information they gather.

Robots are now used in a variety of fields, from building things in factories to exploring space and even assisting in medical procedures.

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