Robots fascinate us, and they have become increasingly important in post-World War II industry and space exploration. Where did the idea for such devices come from? What varied uses do they serve in our world, and where do they seem to be headed? Lisa Nocks traces the history of the robot, from the earliest concepts in ancient myth to mechanical toys of the Enlightenment, from the Jacquard punch card loom in the Industrial Revolution to Japanese car-making devices, and from rovers on Mars and the latest developments in artificial intelligence to the service robotics of the twenty-first century. This volume includes a timeline of important events, a glossary of terms, descriptions and statistics of robot labs and companies around the world, and a helpful bibliography of primary and secondary sources for further research.