These 35 Iconic Robots Define The 21st Century So Far

It has been more than 60 years since the first autonomous robot with complex behaviour has been released in the modern world. Since then, hundreds of iconic robots were exposed so far, but if we want to choose the most representative robots in early 21st century, what would these be?

This is how future generations will remember the robots of the early 21st century. Take a moment to step back with me and reflect on the changing in robotics in the past 14 years. The list contains 35 robots to represent the most iconic moments so far.

01. The most advanced humanoid robot were exposed 14 years ago on November 20. Since then, ASIMO is still the most advanced humanoid robot, even after 14 years. (2000)

02. Two computer scientists ‘design and build’ a robotic system able to ‘design and build’ robots. This was the first step in designing self-replicating robots. (2000)

03. Created by Intuitive Surgical, da Vinci Surgical System is the first commercial surgery robot designed to facilitate complex surgery with a minimally invasive approach. The robot operates worldwide in hospitals and has been sold over 2,000 units.(2000)

04. The most famous brand in the world for children’s toys, the Danish company LEGO, released the second version of ultimate builder set part of MINDSTORMS – the Robotics Invention System 2.0. (2001)

05. Manufactured by iRobot, the PackBot is the first robot used in response to a disaster. The concept became reality after the Sept. 11 attacks. (2001)

06. With 100 electrodes implanted into his arm, cybernetics professor Kevin Warwick at the University of Reading, UK became the first cyborg in the world. (2002)

07. The first generation of iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner is unveiled.(2002)

08. In 2002, the HAL-3 (Human Assisted Limbs) is revealed and has enough power to increase by five times the human strength.(2002)

09. This year will remain in history as the first year when an autonomous robot is able to walk independently and climb the stairs. The first humanoid robot able to walk independently is ASIMO.(2002)

10. The MER-A Spirit robot destined for Mars exploration was launched in space by NASA. It landed successfully on Mars in 2004.(2003)

11. In 2003, the global market for service robots was valued at $US 400 million. The SONY AIBO robot pet is reaching the third generation as a service robot.(2003)

12. With a very realistic silicone skin, the Actroid is the first android robot with strong visual human-likeness.(2003)

13. Epson released Micro Flying Robot, the smallest flying robot that weight 10 grams (0.35 ounces) and measure 70 millimeters (2.8 inches).(2004)

14. The first self-replicating robot become reality thanks to researchers at Cornell University.(2005)

15. Boston Dynamics developed the BigDog robot with the most advanced rough-terrain walking system.(2005)

16. In less than 10 hours and driving autonomously for 131 miles, the Stanley robot from Stanford University wins the DARPA Grand Challenge. Stanley is the first robot vehicle that finished the route at the second edition of DARPA Grand Challenge. None of the robots finished the route at the first edition.(2005)

17. Paro is the first robot with therapeutic properties and is available on the market at a price of $6000.(2006)

18. LEGO takes a big step in the do-it-yourself robotics area with Lego Mindstorms NXT kit.(2006)

19. BEAR open the roads for autonomous robots developed for military search-and-rescue missions.(2006)

20. The i-LIMB is the world first commercially available bionic hand with multi-articulating fingers and capable of power grip.(2007)

21. RoboBee is a micro-robot developed by Harvard researchers after 12 years of research. The robot is capable of beating the wings 120 times per second using artificial muscles.(2007)

22. Recognized by Guinness World Records as the smallest humanoid robot, I-SOBOT inspire the next generation of small human-like robots.(2008)

23. The machine-learning concept entered in another era with the help of scientists from Aberystwyth University and the University of Cambridge. Their result is Adam, the robot scientist.(2009)

24. In 2009, the first humanoid manufacturing robot adaptable to different situations without being anticipated ahead of time was revealed. It is about Nextage.(2009)

25. In a ‘garage’ called Willow Garage take shapes one of the most advanced open-source friendly robot called PR2. The robot run an operating system called ROS and become one of the most popular platform for research in universities around the world.(2010)

26. The Google car take the start for what it could become the first autonomous car available to transport humans and fit our needs.(2010)

27. The first robot able to manipulate non-rigid objects makes a demonstration at the University of California.(2010)

28. The concept of a robot teacher appears in South Korea.(2010)

29. The Nano remote-controlled hummingbird pave the way for new types of aerial surveillance vehicles.(2011)

30. The Baxter robot again rewrites the paper of humanoid robots for industrial use. It is designed for repetitive tasks and is one of the most popular robots in industry and for research in universities.(2012)

31. After the first human in space, in 2012 was delivered the first humanoid robot in space – Robonaut. The robot mission is to work in space on the International Space Station.(2012)

32. After 300,000 miles in traffic and developed by Google engineers, the first driverless car is finally licensed for a car that drives itself in Nevada. (2012)

33. In 2013, LEGO released the Mindstorms EV3 kit. Once again, the toy factory becomes a world leader in the do-it-yourself area with a mobile device and Linux-based kit used for almost anything.(2013)

34. The open-source concept has become a religion in the world of robotics. The RAPIRO robot is an Arduino compatible robot with a Raspberry Pi brain. The robot can be reproducible at home by anyone with a 3D printer and maker skills.(2014)

35. JIBO is the world’s first family robot featured enough to rewrites the rules for personal assistant robots.

History of robots
3804 Robotics Invention System 2.0
Researchers build a robot that can reproduce
Robotics History Timeline
Robotics Breakthroughs
Repost: A Brief History of Exoskeletons
da Vinci Surgical System
Humanoid robot

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