Patent number: 484870
Filing date: Jun 13, 1892
Issue date: Oct 25, 1892
Seward Babbitt's crane first mentioned around 1980 in terms of robotics history and timelines in textbooks, but in terms of enabling technology only, rather than being identified as a robot in itself. That distinction is getting lost in modern references to this invention. Its included in my timeline only to highlight that it is not a robot. It shares characteristics of manipulator arms only.
The first mentioned of Babbitt's invention in terms of robotics that I can find is from The Journal of Epsilon Pi Tau – Volumes 6-10 – Page 98
"In 1892, Seward Babbitt of Pittsburgh patented a rotary crane with a motorized gripper for removing hot ingots from furnaces. "