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10 robots and machines from the history books

Unimate robot

Photo: courtesy Robot Hall of Fame

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Unimate, 1961

In the early 1940s, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov coined the phrase robotics. Around this time, robots also became prominent in the industrial sector. Pictured here is the Unimate, the first industrial robot. The concept for Unimate was developed by inventor George Devol — who died at 99 in August 2011 — and General Motors bought the device, installing it on an assembly line in 1961.