A History of Robotics: Analytical Engine


The explosion of automation during the 1820's led to the rapid growth of the weaving industry. From this wave of innovation also came inspiration for the mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage who composed the idea of programmable machines. Babbage conceived, what he called an Analytical Engine with which he sought to perform multiple mathematical operations. Similar to his previously unfinished Difference Engine, the Analytical Engine would provide a quick way for a machine to execute what was essentially a program by reading punch cards. Babbage began work on the Analytical Engine in 1833 but he never finished. His work however, left Ada Lovelace deemed as the worlds first programmer as she produced numerous punch cards to be operated on the device.

Photo of the Analytical Engine from the Science Museum London

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