Nikola Tesla's Automaton anticipated the Robotics Drones

By the end of the XIX century, Nikola Tesla demonstrated a prototype of the wireless controlled boat as "an AUTOMATON which left to itself, will act as though possessed of reason and without any willful control from the outside." A remote-controlled radio ship was roughly three feet in length with blinking antennae and was propelled by a small motor and rudder. This device was the ancestor of today's remote-controlled drones. A technological masterpiece, Tesla's radio-controlled boat illustrates his virtuosity as well as the challenges of inventing something ahead of its time.

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