Unimate robot at the Biltmore
Oct. 2, 1967: Betty Myrah gets a cup of coffee from Unimate, a 3,500-pound robot on display at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
Unimate, invented by George Devol, was the first industrial robot. In 1961, a Unimate started working at a General Motors vehicle assembly line.
Los Angeles Times staff writer Dave Felton reported the next morning:
Experts contend that, as a group, robots are actually harmless enough. And as employees they are courteous, stable and willing to perform both menial and sophisticated chores without a complaint.
Certainly the 3,500-pound “portable” model that was uncaged Monday at the Biltmore behaved itself in an exemplary manner.
But there was something vaguely ominous about the dull inner churning of its hydraulic pumps, the hiss of its pneumatic fingers, the way it shook the floor while cleverly pouring a cup of coffee.
“Welcome to the temporary home of our beast,” said Joel Strasser, public relations direction for Unimation Inc., standing a safe distance away at the entrance of the hotel’s Renaissance Room.
Strasser said he was there to introduce the Eastern firm’s new industrial robot, Unimate, to the West Coast.
“Basically this machine can take the place of one man. It can pick up anything in a 350-cubic-foot area — and place it down with an accuracy of .05 of an inch in any dimension.
“It’s faster than a man, more accurate, more economical and you don’t have any of the obvious disadvantages you have with humans, such as the safety angle….
“We’ve actually had the thing making martinis, pouring beer and playing golf. On the Johnny Carson Show it smashed an accordion.”
This photo by former staff photographer Frank Q. Brown accompanied Felton’s article in the Oct. 3, 1967, edition of the Los Angeles Times.
Check out this video of Unimate Robot on the Johnny Carson Show posted on YouTube.
January 25, 2012, 12:52 am
Oh well that's end to mankind then. Bye.
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