It all started with automata like the Digesting Duck
Or 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 SOA alumn Greg Witt
Wind powered “beach animals” by Theo Jansen
Riotous robotic performances by the Survival Research Lab