Automatons Essay, Research Paper


Webster? s New World Dictionary defines a automaton as any anthropomorphous mechanical being built to make routine manual work for human existences. This term was popularized by the Czech playwright Karel Capek ( 1890-1938 ) in his 1921 drama Russum? s Universal Robots ( R.U.R. ) . The term has been used in fiction to depict self-controlling machines that resemble human existences. This construct has been the footing of narratives get downing centuries before, but has become popular due to the Hagiographas of scientific discipline fiction authors and films. Isaac Asimov? s ( 1920-1992 ) book I, Robot started the recent involvement in automatons and this involvement has been fostered by recent films that glamorize automatons, i.e. Star Wars and Bicentennial Man.

The word automaton has become an mundane word in our vocabulary and mundane there is intelligence of extra ways that automatons can help us. There is a turning tendency of utilizing automatons to execute more and more complex undertakings, as computing machines get more powerful so do automatons. Is at that place a clip when we will have decreasing return from the usage of extra automatons? Will robots finally govern the universe? These inquiries and more will hold to be addressed, as we become more and more dependent on mechanization to make the repetitive occupations we do non desire. To decently fix for these inquiries and issues it is necessary for us to analyze the history, present twenty-four hours usage, and hereafter of automatons.


Man has been fascinated by the construct of the formation of non-intelligent life for centuries. One of the earliest myths is of Hephaestus, the Godhead Smith who was the Grecian God of fire. He was described in The Iliad as holding fashioned misss out of gold whom could travel, speak, and believe. He was besides said to hold fashioned and animated a bronze statue for King Minos of Crete. This life statue ( automaton ) indefatigably circled the island, guarding it from invasion.

There are fables that have Judaic mystics making unreal being out of clay, referred to as a golem from a Hebrew word significance? an unformed clay? . The best known golem is that of Rabbi Loew, who was formed in 16th century Prague to protect Jews.

Amongst all these fables there was human discoverers who were developing devices that would automatically execute Acts of the Apostless that could be associated with intelligence. Automatic devices were created that operated by steam, traveling fluids, and compressed air. These devices were basically toys or appliances of no existent usage. The first genuinely utile devices were redstem storksbills.

The first redstem storksbills were H2O redstem storksbills where the H2O lifted floats with arrows that pointed at the clip, Mechanical redstem storksbills were invented in the Middle Ages, which used weights for power. Clocks continued to progress in complexness and it became possible to fabricate objects that mimicked actions that were associated with life. These objects that moved automatically were called? zombis?

As engineering advanced it became possible to conceive of an mechanization that was genuinely graphic. One that would be soulless or mindless and which could travel out of control, bringing decease and devastation. These frights influenced the narrative of Frankenstein during this period and influence those who fear automatons today.

In 1738 Jacques de Vaucanson created a mechanical duck that was the most famed zombi of that epoch. The duck was made of Cu and could quack, bath, drink, eat grain, simulate digestion, and invalidating. The duck was exhibited all over Europe with great success. Vaucanson shortly tired of his innovation and turned his endowments to more practical affairs and invented the first automatic weaving loom. The looms control system was the precursor of today? s computerized systems. It is this cybernation that turns ordinary machines into automatons.

The new looms could bring forth intricate forms easy and automatically depending on what pattern card was selected. These looms and even the discoverers met with worker ill will, but the advantages finally forced their credence.

The thought of punched cards led to the development of Boolean algebra, which uses 1 and 0 as on or off. This construct became the footing of digital computing machines, which are the encephalons of automatons.

The first computing machines were ciphering machines used to table Numberss. These machines were used to roll up big sums of information, i.e. 1890 nose count. The demand for increased information lead to additions in the velocity and power of these ciphering machines. This ever-increasing demand was one of the drive forces for the building of ENIAC, which was the first electronic computing machine. ENIAC was made originally to calculate the angle that an heavy weapon gun should be pointed at in order to hit a certain mark. During World War II, this had to be calculated by manus into charts that took everlastingly to do. Since the charts were calculated by manus, they were non ever accurate. The ENIAC would do the charts in a batch less clip and reasonably accurately. The encephalon of the automaton was created and people began to see the possibilities, and effects, of? unreal intelligence? .

In 1950, the USAF and M.I.T. developed a system that used a numerical control system on tape that was interpreted by a computing machine. The computing machine read the tape and acted as the machine & # 8217 ; s intelligence and automatic accountant. This allowed the machine to change the undertakings performed. This led to the first patent for an? industrial automaton? by George C Devol, Jr in 1954.

The progresss in computing machine engineering in the 1950? s and 1960? s created some interesting inquiries. Are computing machines immobile automatons? Are automatons nomadic computing machines? Does a automaton have to wish a human being? The inquiries are still non answered, if you go to the plaything shop a automaton looks humanoid. If you want to construct a automaton from a kit purchased off the web, it most likely will look android.

Industrial automatons do non hold the humanoid visual aspect ; they look more like a little arm. An industrial automaton is a reprogrammable, multifunctional operator designed to travel stuffs, parts, tools, or specialised devices through variable programmed gestures to execute a assortment of undertakings.


George Devol, a ego made applied scientist with his ain concern, and Joseph Engelberger, an applied scientist working in the aerospace industry, formed the universe & # 8217 ; s first automaton company. They met at a cocktail party in 1956 and during the eventide exchanged some serious thoughts:

& # 216 ; 50 per centum of the people who work in mills are truly seting and taking.

& # 216 ; Why are machines made to bring forth merely specific points?

& # 216 ; How about nearing fabricating the other manner around, by planing machines that could set and take anything.

Bing intrigued by Devol? s thoughts, Engelberger entered into a concern agreement with Devol. The two work forces searched for a standard design and after analyzing assorted production procedures decided on a 1 armed machine. During research on the procedures Engelberger was appalled by the on the job conditions in many of the mills. In works he saw adult females tied to pressing machines by straps tied around their carpus to jerk their custodies back when the imperativeness closed. The workers were similar mechanizations that would go on to work until shaken from their hypnotic province. Engelberger predicted that the industrial automaton would & # 8220 ; assist the mill operator in a manner that can be compared to concern machines as an assistance to the office worker & # 8221 ; .

They constructed their first automaton in 1956 and named it the UNIMATE. The first industrial automaton was built, but orders did non come fluxing in. The first UNIMATE did non travel into operation until 1961, when General Motors purchased one for their dice casting works.

Even after General Motors started purchasing more of the automatons, the fabrication industry in general was non interested. Engelberger and Devol found them self up against two institutional barriers:

& # 216 ; The zone of indifference originating from the mean center directors? frights that automaton installings would be excessively troublesome and economically indefensible.

& # 216 ; Firms would non acknowledge the demand to automatize unless their competition did.

They were non even acquiring any good promotion from their successful installings, since General Motors was down playing everything because it feared labour resistance.

Something had to be done, and shortly before the company was forced to turn up. Engelberger commissioned a confer withing house to find a manner to advance the UNIMATE. The solution was really rather simple ; it was a affair of economic sciences. The automaton was priced to high ; it was cheaper to engage more employees than it was to automatize. When the monetary value was reduced, gross revenues jumped six crease. Which puts the right spin on industrial automatons. Cipher puts automatons to work because they want to do life easier for the employee. They put it to work for economic nest eggs.

The existent detonation of industrial automatons came because of Japan. The institutional barriers that existed in the States did non affair in Japan. The Japanese were implementers ; they went in front and used engineering.

Back in the provinces industrial automatons continued to derive in popularity in the fabrication procedure, but it was a slow drive. Then the industry started to alter ; the automotive industry was experiencing the force per unit area of Nipponese competition. General Motors developed an assembly system that robot weaponries, conveyer belts, and parts sorters. The bosom of the system was the robotic arm, which was dubbed the PUMA, programmable cosmopolitan machine for assembly. Gross saless petitions for the automaton arm went through the roof, the age of the industrial automaton was here.


? Anything that is manufactured is manipulated. Every portion is manipulated while it is made. Every portion is manipulated while is assembled. A portion is manipulated when it is delivered from a works. Everything is manipulated?

George C. Devol, Jr. ( interview, 3/11/83 )

The debut of the automaton now allows the advantages of the industrial revolution to be to the full realized. The followers are some of the advantages:

& # 216 ; The usage of automatons will forestall worlds from being forced to work like automatons.

& # 216 ; Robots being incapable of fatigue and bitterness can labour indefinitely, non merely bring forthing more objects, but besides guaranting that there will little or no fluctuation in merchandise quality and safety.

& # 216 ; Particular characteristics can be added to merchandises without altering the production tally.

Automatons can make the heavy, unsafe, and boring work with capacity to look as though they can do determinations and demo opinion.

The automatons of the new industrial revolution foremost made their brand in the automotive industry. In the early 80? s 40 per centum of the automatons in usage were in American and Nipponese automotive mills. Images of one armed machines raising car frames and turning them for welding automatons was a chief characteristic on intelligence and docudramas. All this started to alter, as computing machines became more and more powerful. As the computing machine grew more? intelligent? the automatons were able to make more and more undertakings. The automaton today is a chief constituent in about all fabrication processes. The undermentioned charts show the gross revenues of automatons in United States:

Year # of automatons $ US

1984 5800 $ 480M

1985 6200 $ 380M

1986 5400 $ 320M

1987 3800 $ 300M

1988 4000 $ 325M

1989 4500 $ 510M

1990 5000 $ 510M

1991 4000 $ 410M

1992 5250 $ 500M

1993 6800 $ 630M

But, even though demand is billowing and the U.S. is the universe & # 8217 ; s 2nd largest robotics user with some 53,000 systems, the Nipponeses have more than seven times as many automatons in usage.

The automaton industry is dining with companies bring forthing automatons to work in country such as:

& # 216 ; Medicine & # 8211 ; bosom beltway surgery, surgical automatons work side-by-side with people

& # 216 ; Pork production & # 8211 ; Increasing market force per unit areas in the meat sector have been the major motive for the usage of mechanization. The cardinal drivers taking to the usage of robotics have been the demand to better work conditions, control the procedures and increase output, while keeping hygiene criterions. Employers in this industry are besides faced with a deficit of skilled labour and the increasing demand to cut down monetary value while bettering quality and safety in the works.

& # 216 ; Security systems & # 8211 ; automatons that routinely patrol dark after dark supplying plus protection, state of affairs appraisal, and environmental monitoring.

& # 216 ; Military & # 8211 ; patrol warehouses where high-value, bad equipage is stored.

& # 216 ; Mobil automatons? Used for mapping unsmooth terrain and hunting for land mines and many more utilizations.


? Fifty old ages, tops, until the automatons win us, ? says Hans Moravec, manager of Carnegie Mellon & # 8217 ; s Mobile Robot Lab. & # 8220 ; When you compare the development of mental abilities in animate beings to similar abilities in machines, robot development is traveling about 10 million times faster. & # 8221 ; The manager of Survival Research Laboratories, Mark Pauline, speculates that the ultra-intelligent automatons of the hereafter, like the marauding machines of the Terminator films, may eliminate most worlds.

This may non be every bit far-fetched as one might believe, with the coming of the planetary web and the sharing of cognition. The computing machines that control the automatons are connected to better ease the fabrication procedure. As the web goes of all time larger there is the possibility that it might go self-conscious. There are even people who believe that the automaton and its unreal intelligence is the following measure in the evolutionary concatenation.

Whatever the beliefs, our dependance on the automaton continues to increase. Medicine is one of the largest turning industries. As worlds quest for longer and healthier lives, the automaton is become one of the chief tools. Procedures like disciplinary oculus surgery, bosom surgery, diagnostic medical specialty are all being accomplished by machine. There are even automatons being developed that are little plenty to go in your blood stream and make surgical processs from the interior.


The debut of machines into the work topographic point has caused frights and unrest from the really first. Fear of the unknown and fright of replacing has ever been a cardinal factor in this agitation. This fright still exists, but the automaton is here to remain. It has become a critical portion of the fabrication procedure, liberating worlds to be a more originative portion of the procedure. The automaton was created to make off with the encephalon dead employee by making undertaking that were insistent in nature. The automaton is highly successful in this enterprise. This success drives the discoverer to look for more amore topographic points to utilize the automaton.


Man has ever looked for easier ways to carry through a undertaking. When prehistoric adult male pick up a stone to kill his quarry adult male was set on a class. Where that class will stop merely God knows. The tract has been unsmooth and rough and alteration has come hard for the bulk of people. Look at the clash that the first mechanical loom caused, but human nature being what it is, any thing that makes a undertaking easier is normally excepted.

It is the nature of adult male to respond to alter, the position quo regulations. The force per unit area of the multitudes is doing it harder and harder to defy alteration. Technology continues to increase at an expediential rate and there is no terminal in sight. Its traveling to be a wild drive, George Jetson here we come!

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7. Isaac Asimov and Karen A. Frenkkel. Robots. New York. Harmony Books. 1985.

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11. Understanding Computers? Robots? . Alexandria. Time Life Books

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