Archive for the ‘Early Service Robots’ Category

1928 – “The Psychophonic Nurse” (Fiction) – David H. Keller (American)

“The Psychophonic Nurse”, by David H. Keller. Published in Amazing Stories, 1928

Illustration by Frank R. Paul.

The Psychophonic Nurse
A child-care robot – a nanny bot.

“I had her made by the Eastinghouse Electric Company. You see, she’s just a machine nurse, but as she doesn’t eat anything, is on duty twenty-four hours a day, and draws no salary, she’s cheap at the price I paid.”

“…let me show you how she works. She’s made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic intruments, and by means of tubes such as are used in the radio, she’s very sensitive to sounds. She’s connected to the house current by a long, flexible cord, which supplies her with the necessary energy. To simplify matters, I had the orders put into numbers instead of sentences. One means that the baby is to be fed; seven that she’s to be changed…”

“…When I ordered this machine … I bought a phonograph with clock attachment. It will run for twenty-four hours without attention. Then I had a baby doctor work out a twenty-four hour programme of infant activity for different ages. Our baby is about two months old. You put this phonograph with the two-month record on it in the nursery… At definite periods of the twenty-four hours the phonograph will call out a number and the nurse will do what is necessary…

Article sourced from here.

[RH – one wonders how long baby would be in soiled daipers before the appropriate ‘number’ came up?]

The above fictional robot was inspired by the then new and wonderful Westinghouse Televox of 1927, which operated in s similar fashion.


See other early Domestic Service Robots here.


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1962 – Table-Clearing Robot – Meredith Thring (Australian/British)

"Working model of a table-clearing robot [Mk 2] designed to test the present-day feasibility of principles required for the house-working robot and other machines. The model has one 'sight' and two 'touch' sensors which enable the mechanical arm to pick up objects and place them on the rotating, clearing tray on top of the machine."

INVENTORS' EXHIBITION

2065.27 | INVENTORS' EXHIBITION. London 13/01/1969

M/S table clearing robot. M/S as it lifts cup up from table. C/U cup being lifted from table and placed to one side. M/S as cup swings round to make room for another.


THE HOUSE-PROUD ROBOT
Clearing the table after a meal is a task which can be given to a robot. This one, like many other robots, does not have a human form like its counterparts in fiction. But it does its job well.


1. The mug is seen by a photoelectric "eye" and the "hand" is directed towards it.
2. Controlled by pressure sensors, the hand grips the mug firmly.
3. As the hand retracts, it puts the mug on a rotating turntable.


4. By its rotation, the turntable clears the mug out of the way. Far right: a close-up of the robot housemaid in action.


This table-clearing machine has a photoelectric eye which detects objects. This directs linkage; closes on them
lifts them back to the turntable.




Earlier Mk 1 version of Table-clearing Robot


Meredith Thring with his models of Domestic Robot

Cartoon from New Scientist, March 1963.


See other early Domestic Service Robots here.


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1961 – Jacobsen Automatic Lawnmower – Gordon Carlson (American)

Published in Radio-Electronics, April 1961.
The Lazy Man's Delight … An Automated Lawnmower
By GORDON CARLSON – Development engineer, DeVry Technical Institute. Chicago, Ill.
MUCH has been done with remote control, but a remotely controlled device that must maneuver in tight spaces (such as a grass cutter near the wife's flower beds) and in near panic situations (like a very close miss) requires constant and close observation. This means radio control from the lawn chair is out. Instead, a completely reliable, fully automatic device that doesn't require watching, that does not run over the neighbor's dog or the children's toys is the type of easy living lawnmower that allows plenty of time for relaxation.
Basically, the operation of this automatic lawnmower is this: A length of ordinary plastic-covered hookup wire is buried about 1 inch under the lawn in the pattern the grass is to be cut (Fig. 1). The distance between wires depends on the width of the cutting blade and the amount of overlap desired.
Mounted about 16 inches in front of the steerable wheel of the mower are two pickup coils (Fig. 2), about 6 inches apart and 2 inches above the lawn. When a small alternating current is passed through the buried wire, an electromagnetic field is set up around it. When the coils are near the wire, the magnetic field induces voltages in them. The amplitude of these voltages increases as the coils move nearer the wire. If the coils are equally distant …. see attached pdf for complete text.


See other early remote-controlled and robotic lawn mowers here.


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1952 – Stewart Automatic Lawn Mower – Sterling Stewart (American)

1952 – Stewart Automatic Lawn Mower by Sterling Stewart

SCIENCE IS SERVED

Seattle: Sterling Stewart of Sioux City, IA., a graduate science student at the University of Washington, isn't lazy in the true sense of the word. He's able to relax with a cold drink while his lawn is mowed only because he had the ambition to invent a remote control gadget to do the job.  The lawn mower, called "The Monster" by the neighbors, was built  from salvage parts at a cost of $7. The machine, electrically controlled by a push button box at the end of a 75 ft cord, has a rotary blade and weighs 100 lbs. Dated 6/10/1952. 


See other early remote-controlled and robotic lawn mowers here.


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1952 – Remote Controlled Lawn Mower (Patent) – Barton G. Siebring (American)

Remote Controlled Lawn Mower (Patent) – Barton G. Siebring

Patent Abstract:

This invention relates to power operated lawn mowers and more particularly to a power operated lawn mower equipped for remote control, so that the operator does not have to follow and guide the lawn mower, but can control the lawn mower without moving from a selected location.

It is among the objects of the invention to provide an improved power operated lawn mower which can be effectively controlled by an operator stationed at a selected location, so that the operator does not have to follow and guide the lawn mower; which can be controlled to move forwardly or rearwardly and to turn in either direction; which has electrically operated driving and control mechanism of simplified construction and arrangement; and which is simple and durable in construction, economical to manufacture, easy to operate, and positive and effective in operation.

For full patent info, see here.

Publication number US2698507 A
Publication date Jan 4, 1955
Filing date Dec 30, 1952
Priority date Dec 30, 1952
Inventor Siebring Barton G

See other early remote-controlled and robotic lawn mowers here.


 

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