It all started with automata like Vaucanson’s Digesting Duck (1739)
Before this was the “Praying Monk”, built in South Germany or Spain around 1560.
Hear the story in this episode of Radiolab.
Or the Ultimate machine, theorized by Claude Shannon, the father of information theory:
Modern automata of the Cabaret Mechanical Theater :
Existentialist mechanical sculptures by Arthur Ganson:
Sprawling modular mechanisms by School of Art MFA alumnus, Greg Witt:
Wind powered “beach animals” by Dutch artist, Theo Jansen:
Riotous robotic performances by Mark Pauline’s Survival Research Lab: