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Manufactured Working Robots (1980s)

DC-1: Drink Caddy Robot (1979) - Android Amusement Corp

The Robot Exhibit: History, Fantasy and Reality was at the American Craft Museum (now the Museum of Arts and Design) from January 13, 1984 - May 11, 1984. These six robots appeared as the "manufactured working robots" of the exhibit and are featured in the book The Robot Exhibit: History, Fantasy and Reality. The manufactured robots were differentiated from the "handmade working robots" in that they were manufactured by corporations in an effort to educate, entertain or perform a specific function.

These robots seem to demonstrate the way in which we believed robots would evolve; as domestic servants, meant to cater to our needs through very literal, real-world applications. "Bring me another drink, TOT!"

It appears that some of the companies that produced these robots, like RB Robotics, are still around.


Topo (1983) - Androbot, Inc.

ComRo I (1981) - ComRo, Inc.

Tot (1982) - ComRo Inc.

Robocycle (1983) - Robot Repair (Sacramento, CA)

RB5X: The Intelligent Robot (1982) - RB Robot Corporation


Previously on Paleo-Future:


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Reader Comments (6)

The "ComRo I" looks like an automated vacuum cleaner. The Roomba is quite a leap from this model, the whole thing rebuilt ground up (but not very far up).

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlex O'D

Robotics are advancing still, but it is hard to predict when robots become truly household items, if they ever going to be at all.

Would be cool to have a robot like those in I, Robot.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoggySpew

You know what kind of robots people are REALLY waiting for....

Wink wink nudge nudge say no more say no more.

June 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Jetson

Terminator robots?

July 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZat Brannigan Sr.

The RB5X was actually a commercial implementation of the robot "Rodney", the construction of which was detailed by David L. Heiserman in his book "How to Build Your Own Self-Programming Robot", published in 1979. He related this to me in an interview I had with him in 2008, found here on my website:

Robot Intelligence: An Interview With A Pioneer

December 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercr0sh

Anyone think that the DC-1 looks a little too much like a Dalek? Can anyone say, "EXTERMINATE"!!!

August 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike

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