A History of Robotics: The Pigeon

350 B.C

Humankind has had a long history of creating objects that resemble our own likeness and the likeness of other organisms. The first humans drew depictions of themselves in caves and modern archaeologists discover artifacts from all over the world that depict the human likeness. It is no mystery that the human race is intrigued by the mysteries of life, the real question should be why? Why is humanity so intent on understanding the universe. The answer is in the question: because we have that ability to ask why. There are primordial questions like “Where did we come from?”, “Why are we here?”, “What is our purpose?” that drive us. Humans have the ability to ask a question about anything in the universe and then to find out the answer. These inquiries been asked for as long as humans have had the capacity to wonder about the universe. It is questions like these that drive us to create objects that are based on ourselves.

Sometime in the years between 425 B.C and 350 B.C the Greek mathematician, Archytas of Tarentum built a mechanical bird dubbed "the Pigeon". The Pigeon that was propelled by steam and it could fly a distance of 200 meters. Although the steam-powered bird could not take off again once it landed, it still serves as one of history's earliest studies in the field of flight and robotics.


This post is part of a series titled The History of Robotics. Each chapter is a year or era in robotics history. To see more check for posts labeled history or use the link bellow to view the next era.
Next chapter: Water Clocks

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