Robots are made to assist us—to manipulate and improve upon our environments and, ideally, make our lives easier. But in the history of robotic development there have been as many epic fails as incremental successes. Today we have collected a bunch of robots which failed to deliver the task they were designed for but yet we Love them. We also explain the reasons for which these useless robots are loved and are an important part of robotics history.
In 1937, Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric Corporation started construction on a robot designed to mimic many basic human actions. Within one year, Elektro was created—a giant steel and aluminum contraption adept at blowing up balloons, and smoking cigarettes and able to move its head, arms and legs. Some of Elektro’s more impressive feats included the ability to use a camera to distinguish between red and green lights and a motor skeleton to walk on command. Less impressive were the bad jokes broadcast over its speakers via microphone.