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How Humans Have Shaped Robots (part II)

1975

The debatable start of the personal computer begins with the ALTAIR 8080 created by MITS. It was based off the Intel 8080. Build-it-yourself kits were released to the public and ended up sparking the microcomputer revolution.

1979

The Stanford Cart - able to cross a room filled with chairs without any human assistance. A TV camera was mounted onto the cart which took photos from multiple angles and transferred them to a computer. The computer analysed the distances between the cart and the objects, allowing the cart to move around the room effectively.

1988

The Danbury Hospital in Connecticut uses the first HelpMate service robot, created by Joseph Engelberger. He wanted to kick-start the industry of home robots. Within a decade, over 100 hospitals worldwide had HelpMates.

1997

Grand champion chess player Gary Kasparov is beaten by IBM's deep blue supercomputer in a match that wrote history.

1998

Dr. Cynthia created Kismet, a robot that could communicate emotions through various facial expressions.It could communicate a range of emotions, from happy or sad, to disgusted or surprised, and many more. Nowadays, it just looks a little creepy.

1998

LEGO releases their MINDSTORMS robotics kits; a kit that contains software and hardware for any user to be able to construct and program their own custom robots.

1999

Sony released the first Aibo robotic dog. Initially marketed as “Entertainment Robots”, they were also adopted by some for educational purposes, robotics research, and robot-human interaction. Not to mention, they look pretty cute.

1999

Mitsubishi created a robotic version of an extinct species of fish, controlled by desktop computer. Yuuji Terada claims it was made “just for fun.” If only everything was that easy.

1999

Probotics Inc. released the Cye robot. It performed a variety of household chores, such as delivering mail, carrying dishes, and vacuuming. While connected to a home PC, it can navigate almost any room in a home.

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