American Innovation: 13 Born-in-the-USA inventions

Industrial robots

In 1954, George Devol applied for a patent for Unimation (Universal Automation), and in 1960, sold his first Unimate programmable robot to General Motors. Similar robots were adopted by other automobile manufacturers, mostly for spot welding and to move items from one place to another.

Stanford University’s Andrew Scheinman invented the 6-axis Stanford Arm, the first robot designed for computer control, in 1969, and later sold the design to Devol’s Unimation. He took the design and refined it into PUMA (Programmable Universal Machine for Assembly), which The Christian Science Monitor described in 1982, “...resembles a human arm, [and] handles high speed assembly work...”

Source: Stanford University InfoLab

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