September 19th, 2009  |  Published in Technology

R2D2 RobotWhen it was first conceived? 
While the term ‘robot’ was first coined by Czech writer Karel Capek in 1920 in his play ‘R.U.R. or Rossum’s Universal Robots’, the first time someone started to talk about the technology of robots was in 1941 when American science fiction writer Isaac Asimov coined the term ‘robotics’.

When did it become popular? 
Written in 1950, Issac Asimov’s seminal book – I, Robot – had 9 short stories and is sort of a fictional history of robotics (including the Three Laws of Robotics). Started being seen as cute and cool with the C3PO Robotpopularity of R2D2 and C3PO in the Star wars franchise. Both were ranked among The Times ‘50 Coolest Movie Robotics.

Chip Facts
Intel co–founder Gordon Moore formulated Moore’s Law in 1965 which states that the number of transistors on a chip will double about every two years. Intel has kept that pace for nearly 40 years- as many as two billion and growing. Processing power, measured in millions of instructions per second (MIPS), has steadily risen because of increased transistor count. As silicon-based technology gains in performance, it becomes less expensive to produce, more plentiful and powerful, and more seamlessly integrated into our daily lives.

Future Technology
Intel researchers are taking robots one step closer to being ‘human’ by using a technology called Electric Field PreTouch. Unlike the name, the concept is simple and borrows from nature.

When about to touch something, the robot’s sensors figure out the hardness of the object and adjust the grasp accordingly. For example, a robot to assist elderly people would hold heir hands more carefully and gently.


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