Hobby Electronics magazine (November 1979-January 1980) describes an autonomous robot.
HEBOT is a free roaming robot which can negotiate obstacles, steer towards a light (infra red) and follow a wire (A.C. current) around your home.
HEBOT emits a squeak when it detects light or following a collision. Control is transferred to the wire following circuitry unless HEBOT encounters an abstacle.
HEBOT also has a microphone, and can be wired to go into reverse, spin, or just stop.
HEBOT's 'random walking' is a bit of a misnomer, as it actually executes a series of spirals.
There is room for development. Board one will support a further four levels of control. It also has a simple constant-current nicad charger for its recharging 'nest'.