George Devol (right), inventor of the Robotic Arm
From the New York Times:
George C. Devol, a largely self-taught inventor who drew from science fiction to help develop Unimate, the revolutionary mechanical arm that became a prototype for robots now widely used on automobile assembly lines and in other industries, died on Thursday at his home in Wilton, Conn. He was 99.
In the early 1950s, before the advent of industrial robotics, Mr. Devol (pronounced de-VAHL) built on his own work in electrical engineering and machine controls to design a mechanical arm that could be programmed to repeat precise tasks, like grasping and lifting.
He applied for a patent in 1954 and explained the concept to a fellow engineer, Joseph F. Engelberger, at a cocktail party where they discussed their favorite science fiction writers. Mr. Engelberger listened with interest and immediately seized on the significance of the new technology.
Mr. Devol named the concept Universal Automation — later shortened to Unimation — and received a patent in 1961. Mr. Engelberger formed a company, Unimation Inc., of Danbury, Conn., to adapt and apply the ideas of Mr. Devol and other innovators, and soon came up with the Unimate, an early and highly successful effort to replace factory workers with robotic machinery.
Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground” – Adafruit’s Apps!
Maker Business — The 16 Top Tech Policy Developments of 2016
Wearables — Foot form
Electronics — Function Generator Marketing
Biohacking — SmartWatches Could Help Detect Lyme Disease and Diabetes
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.