Dead at 99, George Devol’s Legacy Lives on in Robotics Industry

By Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association

All of us in the robotics industry and in the world of manufacturing can celebrate the life of George C. Devol, who invented the first industrial robot (the Unimate) and has died at the age of 99. His legacy goes beyond robotics but he is known especially for his patent on “Universal Automation.”

To this day robotics is a driving force that can propel a child’s interest from kindergarten through college and into the working world where robots are deployed for an ever growing array of applications. George Devol nurtured his own interest in how things work to legendary status without ever acquiring a college degree, however, today many in the collegiate ranks are learning about advanced manufacturing thanks to Mr. Devol’s work.

Advanced manufacturing (which quite often includes robotics) is a worldwide phenomenon that is found in factories where the home language is Indo European (English, Spanish, French, Russian and others), Sino-Tibetan (Chinese and others), Semitic, Korean, Japanese and beyond. Many of the world’s people are employed in the business of robotics which as an industry is a mere 50 years old.

His story is elegantly told in the New York Times, as noticed by Don Vincent, Executive Vice President, Robotic Industries Association (retired). He asked that we at RIA share this article: “George C. Devol, Inventor of Robot Arm, Dies at 99.”


One Response to Dead at 99, George Devol’s Legacy Lives on in Robotics Industry

  1. Prabhu Ram says:

    We at ABB, are giving away RobotStudio – Industrial Robot simulation software free for 1 year.

    Know more at

    Lets join hands to build a better world with automation & increased productivity,

    /Build the tomorrow./

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