Chinese online retail giant Alibaba CEO Jack Ma (C) waves as he arrives at the New York Stock Exchange in New York on September 19, 2014. Alibaba is poised for a record-breaking stock market debut on September 19, with shares priced at $68 in a public offering that could be valued at $25 billion. The company will step into the spotlight on the New York Stock Exchange, priced at the top of the $66-$68 per share range announced earlier this week, according to documents filed with US regulators. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SamadJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
* ~270BC an ancient Greek engineer named Ctesibus made organs and water clocks with movable figures.
* 1818 – Mary Shelley wrote “Frankenstein” which was about a frightening artificial lifeform created by Dr. Frankenstein.Timeline of Robots
* 1921 – The term “robot” was first used in a play called “R.U.R.” or “Rossum’s Universal Robots” by the Czech writer Karel Capek. The plot was simple: man makes robot then robot kills a man!
* 1941 – Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov first used the word “robotics” to describe the technology of robots and predicted the rise of powerful robot industry.
* 1942 – Asimov wrote “Runaround”, a story about robots which contained the “Three Laws of Robotics”:
1. A robot may not injure a human, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
* 1948 – “Cybernetics”, an influence on artificial intelligence research was published by Norbert Wiener. British robotics pioneer William Grey Walter invented robots Elmer and Elsie that mimic lifelike behavior using very simple electronics.
* George Devol and Joe Engleberger invent the first programmable robot arm and coined the phrase Universal Automation for the first time.
* 1956 – George Devol and Joseph Engelberger formed the world’s first robot company. Squee, the electronic robot squirrel invented.
* 1959 – Computer-assisted manufacturing was demonstrated at the Servomechanisms Lab at MIT.
* 1961 – The first industrial robot was online in a General Motors automobile factory in New Jersey. It was called ANIMATE.
* 1963 – The first artificial robotic arm to be controlled by a computer was designed. The Rancho Arm was designed as a tool for the handicapped and it’s six joints gave it the flexibility of a human arm.
* 1965 – DENDRAL was the first expert system or program designed to execute the accumulated knowledge of subject experts.
* 1968 – The octopus-like Tentacle Arm was developed by Marvin Minsky.
* 1969 – The Stanford Arm was the first electrically powered, computer-controlled robot arm.
* 1970 – Shakey was introduced as the first mobile robot controlled by artificial intelligence. It was produced by SRI International.
* 1974 – A robotic arm (the Silver Arm) that performed small-parts assembly using feedback from touch and pressure sensors were designed.
* 1979 – The Standford 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.