A Short History of Perception of Robots and Automata from Antiquity to Modern Times

Published: 2019
Social Robots: Technological, Societal and Ethical Aspects of Human-Robot Interaction
ISBN: 978-3-030-17106-3


Robots and automata are key elements of every vision and forecast of life in the near and distant future. However, robots and automata also have a long history, which reaches back into antiquity. Today most historians think that one of the key roles of robots and automata was to amaze or even terrify the audience: They were designed to express something mythical, magical, and not explainable. Moreover, the visions of robots and their envisioned fields of application reflect the different societies. Therefore, this short history of robotics and (especially) anthropomorphic automata aims to give an overview of several historical periods and their perspective on the topic. In a second step, this work aims to encourage readers to reflect on the recent discussion about fields of application as well as the role of robotics today and in the future.