"This book was entertaining, yet educational at the same time. Once I read the first chapter I didn't want to put it down."
--Jesse Cain, December 2003
"State-of-the-art reportage on the current use of robots in materials handling, assembly, etc. The book provides a useful global picture, along with thoughtful analysis."
--Kirkus Reviews, June 1985
"I have been de-signing and building robots since the 60s (as a child) and now design and build advanced anima-tronics and bionics here in Tallahasse. I do research on my own, build what I like, or what I can afford! And my cur-rent project directly leads to you. The book you co-author-ed with Asimov (I tend to think you did most of the actual writing!) features a picture near the back of a magazine from the '50s of a very sexy robot female being servic-ed by a technichian (p. 225). I was very inspired by that picture. Now I have just about complet-ed the genuine version. That pic-ture, which I xeroxed back in the 80s, has hung on my workshop wall all these years, and one day I decided to build it. Don't get me wrong--not for the sexy female part--but for the visionary concept it repre-sented. The sexy body was just a bonus. I have built hundreds of robotic projects--finishing this one was very special to me. When complete (summer 2006), I will be most pleased. And I just wanted you to know that.
A robot builder whose life you changed.
Robots: Machines In Man's Image
• The Origin of Robots: Myth and Reality
• The Creators and Pioneers: Joseph Engelberger
• The New Industrial Revolution: The Applications and Uses of Industrial Robots
• Inside the Robot: How it Works
• The New Breed: Personal, Promotional, and Hobby Robots
• The World View: Jobs, the Economy, and Robots
• Making Robots Smart: Research and Development
• Creating the Future: Robots and Society
Excerpt from Chapter Two: The Creators and Pioneers of Industrial Robots
For Joseph F. Engelberger, thirty years of building robots and founding a new industry have been both fun and a “big battle.” Now known as the Father of Industrial Robotics, he speaks of “playing in the robotics business” in one breath, and of surmounting “institutional barriers” in another.
An independent, analytical thinker who knew how to find and use information, he again and again eschewed the advice of other “experts.” And once others caught on, he found himself in a competitive arena where secrets could not be safeguarded enough. Yet he managed to make an innovation succeed.
Engelberger is just as comfortable describing economic and marketing models as he is with servo theory, the technology that piqued his interest when he was an engineering student. Clad in a suit and bow tie, an accessory that the fifty-nine-year-old Engelberger says saves time, he leans forward to draw an imaginary graph on a tabletop. His index finger zig-zags wildly across the polished wood surface, charting the course the robotics industry has taken. This engineer-turned-businessman also uses terms like “open or closed valves” and “positive or negative feedback” to convey how financial backers received his ideas.
Today the company he founded has close to eight thousand robots installed around the world and is the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial robots…