Robot Facts
Robot Facts

32 Wild and Fun Robot Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published April 23, 2020

Are robots reflections of ourselves? What was the earliest robot? What does the word "robot" mean? Could you ever marry a robot? Explore the fascinating robot facts, history, and more here.

  • The words "android" and "robot" have different meanings. An android is a robot that looks like a human.[4]
  • Before modern robots, there were automatons, which were moving machines driven by clockwork, air, or water rather than electricity or computers.[9]
  • Around 400 BC, the ancient Greek inventor Archytas of Tarentum built an early "robot" : a wooden pigeon that flew through the air on a steam-powered arm.[9]
  • In 1854, British mathematician George Boole wrote a book titled An Investigation into the Laws of Thought. In it, he describes rules that were later used to program computers and robots.[9]
  • Czech author Karel Capek uses the word "robot" for the first time when he wrote his play Rossum's Universal Robots. [9]
  • Tomatan Facts
    That's one way to stay hydrated during your next charity run
  • Tomatan is a robot that feeds its wearer tomatoes as the user runs. The inventor said that eating tomatoes while running helps fight fatigue. The robot weighs 18 pounds (8 kilograms), although there is a lighter version that weighs 7 pounds (3 kilograms).[10]
  • In 1942, American author Isaac Asimov invents his "Three Laws of Robotics," which describes how he thinks robots should behave.[9]
  • In 1956, John McCarthy invented the word "artificial intelligence."[9]
  • In 1966, a robot named "Shakey" became the first robot to use artificial intelligence to make its own decisions.[9]
  • Researchers estimate that by 2040 robots might become as smart as humans.[9]
  • A nanobot is a robot less than one-thousandth of a millimeter, which is smaller than a period.[9]
  • In 206 AD, an Arab inventor named al-Jazari invented an automaton named the "elephant clock." Water propelled the clock, which caused a mechanical man to strike a cymbal and a bird to whistle every half an hour.[9]
  • In 1928, First World War veteran and noted journalist Captain William Richards created Eric, a human-shaped automaton that was 7 feet (2 m) tall. Inside its body were miles of wires connected to motors. These made it stand, sit down, turn, and wave its arms.[9]
  • In 1495, Leonardo da Vinci designed a humanoid knight.[9]
  • By 2025, Japan expects to have 1 million industrial robots.[9]
  • Thirteenth-century Arab inventor Ismail al-Jazari invented a hand-washing automation that used a flush mechanism still used in modern flush toilets. His invention featured a female humanoid automation that refilled a water basin.[10]
  • Will robots inherit the earth? Yes, but they will be our children.


  • A robot called the "Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot" (EATR) can feed on vegetables to create its own fuel. It has a built-in chainsaw, which has prompted people to wonder if it could chop up other things, such as deceased soldiers  . . . or use its chainsaw to create its own dead humans for fuel.[3]
  • A Roomba is type of robot vacuum cleaner. Over 15 million Roombas have been sold, which is enough for everyone in New York City and London.[9]
  • A cobot is a new type of industrial robot that can work safely alongside people in factories. A person just needs to move its arms to train it.[9]
  • Clocky is a type of robot alarm clock. It runs away from you so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off.[9]
  • The hitchBot is a robot that "hitchhikes" alone through cities and countries. The first hitchBot created made it safely through Canada and then Europe. The second hitchBot was designed to hitchhike from Salem, Massachusetts, to California; however, it was kidnapped and beheaded in Philadelphia.[6]
  • Robots are able to manipulate human emotions. In one experiment, when a robot begged participants not to turn it off, about 30% obeyed the robot rather than the researcher.[8]
  • Robot Emotion Facts
    Is giving robots emotions a good idea?

  • In the United States during the 1930s and 40s, the second syllable of the word "robot" was pronounced with a long "O"; it sounded like "row boat."[10]
  • George Devol created the first digitally operated and programmable robot in 1954. Named Unimate, this robot laid the foundation for the modern robotics industry. Devol is largely responsible for the programmable robotic arm that is seen in industry.[10]
  • Les Baugh lost both of his arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago. After working with a surgeon from  John Hopkins University, he became the first person ever to control two prosthetic limbs with his mind.[11]
  • In the 1970s, kidnapped children from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan were often used as jockeys in camel races. After UNICEF pressured countries to ban child jockeys, countries used small robots to serve as camel-racing jockeys.  The robots can even whip the camels.[1]
  • William Grey Walter created the first electronic autonomous robot with complex behavior. Named Elmer and Elsie, the robots were capable of phototaxis, which means they could find their way to a charging station when they ran low on battery power.[10]
  • South Korea has the highest level of robot density in the world. South Korea has about 631 robots per 10,000 employees. Average robot density in Europe is 99 per 10,000 employees and 84 in America.[7]
  • Gemini Man Facts
    His goal is to blur the boundaries between humans and robots
  • The creator of a robot named Gemini (“twin”) used a mould of his own physique, programmed his body language, and even implanted his own hair into his robot’s head. He even had plastic surgery to keep his own body looking like his robot.[9]
  • The word "robot" is from the Czech word "robota," which means "forced labor."[9]
  • "Digisexual" is a term that describes someone who is sexually attracted to robots and other forms of technology.[2]
  • Experts speculate that human-robot marriage will be legal in the United States by 2050.[5]

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