George C. Devol, Jr. Print E-mail

 

Inducted May 2012

 

George Devol, Jr., 1912 – 2011, invented the first digitally operated programmable robotic arm. The invention formed the basis for the modern robotics industry, including future screen printers and placement equipment. Devol's invention, which he called the "Unimate," was first put into practice at a General Motors plant. The US PTO awarded him a patent for the idea in 1961, one of more than 40 patents Devol was granted during his career. He later launched the world's first robot manufacturing company, Unimation. In 2005, Popular Mechanics magazine selected the Unimate as one of the Top 50 Inventions of the Past 50 Years.

 

 

Columns

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