NIKOLA TESLA (1856 – 1943)

We may wonder and get benefited on robotics and automation. In this blog, I would like to share about the person who gave the birth to the robot. Nowadays robots play a significant role in space exploration, industrial automation, defense, medicine and many other fields. Who knows? In future, they’ll may be handling us. What about the past? When was robot invented? Who invented it?

The answer is Nikola Tesla at 1898. You might have known the word Tesla in your subject as the unit of magnetic flux density. Can you remember it? Yes! It’s he. He is called the Father of Robotics. Why because is he invented and patented remote controlled robot using radio wave in November 8, 1898. By using the radio wave as communication medium, he operated the robotic boat in a small pool of water in Madison Square Garden, New york. This led to the development of Space exploration.
At Madison Square Garden during an electrical exhibition, Nikola Tesla used the radio waves to direct the movements of a Robotic boat in a pool of water. It was done by him for the first time in the history of robots. Yes, it is the birthplace of the Robot and Robotics, projectile missiles and torpedoes.

How did Tesla do this Wireless transmission? He made a special boat with an antenna which is used to operate the radio waves coming from the command post. He used a coherer, a special radiosensitive device which receives the radio waves which converted them into mechanical movement. This event was the hot news in American dailies.

A question may arise on how he found the high frequency operation. Nikola Tesla was a tireless experimenter. His experiments led him very early into the fields of high frequency phenomena. In 1890, He worked with the high frequency alternators which were considered to provide high frequency. Later he made the well- known Tesla induction coil or high frequency oscillator. Using these new sources, he could able to demonstrate a number of entirely new phenomena which at lower frequencies had been unobtainable in 1891 and 1892 in England and France respectively. Tesla called the attention to the high frequency phenomena that by taking his oscillator, grounding one side of it and connecting the other side to an insulated body of large surface, it was possible to transmit electrical signals with high frequency to a greater distance and it could communicate in this way to other oscillator in similar resonance therewith. This had been the starting point of invention of radiotelegraphy as we know it today.

On July 4, 1997 the NASA’s Explorer-Robot “Sojourner” invaded Mars and became the vehicle to roam on the surface of the Red planet guided by the radio waves. Do we know that Tesla did similar exploration 100 years ago with his robot? Rotating magnetic field, Alternating Current, AC motor are a few among Tesla’s main achievements which have wide range of applications as of now in the world. And one more interesting fact is that Tesla has had over 700 patents.

As I mentioned earlier, international unit of magnetic flux density is denoted after the name of “Tesla”. The Nikola Tesla Museum was founded on December 5, 1995 by the Government of Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia at the central area of Belgrade, Serbia. This museum consists of many valuable collections in it including the photo of Tesla Remote Control. His birthday (July-10) is considered as “Nikola Tesla Day”.

We just enjoy the inventions of many people like Nikola Tesla. Sometimes it may not be necessary to know the science behind those inventions. But the important thing is to try know about the inventors and their efforts and to utilize them into right way.