When people think of a robot, they often think of a mechanical, computerised machine in a human form. The idea of a robot has been around for many years although actual working models have only been a relatively recent thing. The famous 15th century artist and designer, Leonardo Da Vinci drew plans for a mechanical man. It is believed that his design was the first humanoid robot. It was designed to sit up and wave its arms. It could move its head and open and close its mouth.

The idea and concepts of robots began to become popular when they started to appear on television shows such as “Lost in Space”. The television series which ran for 3 seasons portrayed a robot which demonstrated human characteristics such as feelings and emotions. The robot was voiced and controlled by actor Dick Tufeld.

Asimov’s Law of Robotics

Isaac Asimov (1920 – 1992). (Click here) Isaac Asimov was an author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He is best known for his work in the area of science fiction and for his popular science books. He took a different view of robots than others writing before him. Asimov write the three laws of robotics

1. A robot may not harm a human being, or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.