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1709 – Vaucanson – bio

1709 – Vaucanson – bio

Jacques Vaucanson was born in Grenoble, France in 1709 and was an inventor and engineer who mainly constructed automated machines known as automatons. These were early versions of robots. His most famous robot was the duck, which could flap its wings, stretch its neck and simulated digestion. He learned anatomy from discussions with surgeons and decided to implement his knowledge by developing “living anatomies” in his machines. His first android (a human like machine), “The Flute Player”, was completed in 1737 and was a life sized shepherd who could play twelve different tunes on a flute.

In 1740 Vaucanson created an automated loom, building upon work by Bouchon and his student, Falcon. Vaucanson’s loom in turn was later improved upon by Jacquard. Around 1751, he created the first documented all metal lathe.

PRECURSOR:
0010 – Heron
1136 – al-Jazari

CONCURRENT:
1725 – loom controlled by a paper tape with punched holes- Bouchon
1728 – loom controlled by punched hole cards – Falcon

SUBSEQUENT:
1765 – Whitney
1801 – Jacquard

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