Robotics The Tech

Robotics Timeline

Landmark Images of People and Technology in Fiction, 1934-1949

1934 J. Storer Clouston: Button Brains (novel): mistaken identity (robot/human)
1934 Harl Vincent: 'Rex' (story): robot Rex takes over the world but commits suicide
1936 Modern Times (film): Charlie Chaplin trying to adapt to the discipline of the machine
1937 John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding (Stories of) Science Fiction, or ASF (US science fiction magazine)
1939 The Son of Frankenstein (film)
1940 Isaac Asimov: 'Robbie' (story): amiable robot saves child's life
1941 Isaac Asimov: 'Reason' (story): robot becomes curious about own existence
1942 First appearance of Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics:
  1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
1943 Robert Bloch: 'It Happened Tomorrow' (story): over-dependence on technology
1944 Theodore Sturgeon: 'Killdozer' (story): parable about machines acting independently of human control
1945 [DROPPING OF ATOM BOMB]
1946 [FIRST ELECTRONIC COMPUTER: ENIAC]
Isaac Asimov: 'Evidence' (story): robot simulates human
Murray Leinster (as Will F. Jenkins): 'A Logic Named Joe' (story): over-dependence on technology
1947 Isaac Asimov: 'Little Lost Robot' (story): robot lacks humour
Jack Williamson: 'With Folded Hands' (story): robots prepared to use lobotomies to 'protect' human beings
1949 George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four (novel): dystopia in which technology is used repressively

1726-1893 | 1905-1933 | 1934-1949 | 1950-1955 | 1956-1967 | 1968-1978
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