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The first half century of industrial robot: 50 years of robotic developments

Robert Bogue (Consultant, Okehampton, UK)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 9 November 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023




This paper aims to trace the technological and commercial developments in robotics over the last 50 years, from 1973, the year in which this journal was founded, to the present day.


Following an introduction, this identifies key robot developments on a decade-by-decade basis and considers research, products, applications and corporate activity and also highlights many of the enabling technologies. Brief conclusions are draw.


The robot industry has changed beyond all recognition during the last half century. Enabled by developments in microelectronics, computing, sensors, imaging technologies, data communication and power sources, today robots satisfy a multitude of applications and play a role in almost every sphere of human activity.


This provides a detailed review of robotic developments during the last 50 years.



Bogue, R. (2023), "The first half century of industrial robot: 50 years of robotic developments", Industrial Robot, Vol. 50 No. 1, pp. 1-10.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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