Robots conjure up thoughts of distant technological landscapes and even apocalyptic scenarios, but the truth is, robots are a very old creation, tracing back to the ancient world.
We can thank science fiction writers for inventing new and serious ideas about robots, automatons previously relegated as mere amusement. But they remained an unimaginable concept -- rendered in a corny, campy fashion in the 1940s and 50s -- until the development of computing and cybernetics.
In 1961 the first industrial robot named Unimate not only changed the automobile industry, but it opened the door for the vast, realistic possibilities of robotics in our everyday lives.
If you like The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences, please leave a review for the show on iTunes!
In 1907, the professional swimmer Annette Kellerman was arrested on a Massachusetts beach for wearing a revealing bathing suit -- a skin-tight black ensemble which covered most of her body.
Less than forty years later, in 1946, the owner of a Parisian lingerie shop invented the bikini, perhaps the smallest amount of fabric to ever change the world.
In this podcast, I'll tell you what happened to change people's perception of public decency in those forty years and explain how the bikini represents the best -- and the worst -- instincts of modern American culture.
Follow The First Podcast on Twitter at @TheFirstPodcast