We’ve long seen robots in industry, handling repetitive tasks and heavy machinery. They were once confined to safety cages in manufacturing facilities, programmed to perform one task perfectly, over and over again. Their purpose was to make high volumes of goods more quickly and cheaply.
But rapid technological advancements are giving rise to a new generation of smarter, flexible, mobile and more human-like robots. Some can perform diverse tasks in unstructured environments and work with and alongside people. Some can fly, others can navigate terrestrial routes.
There is no doubt that the new generation of robots and humanoids are getting better and better at mimicking human behaviour. But one must not be deceived into thinking that they have human intelligence. Nevertheless, in this article, I present a collection of YouTube video clips that serve as a reminder of just how far we have come in developing robotic technology.
The next generation of robots from Boston Dynamics
Humanoid: What is it like to be human?
And finally, a blast from the past: Electro the Smoking Moto Man – from an exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair
This robot, created by Westinghouse, is an amazing technological feat for that era and makes for a fascinating clip. It also serves as a reminder of just how far we have come in developing robotic technology.