Industrial Robotics Creator Passes

Joe Engelberger is considered the father of industrial robotics.


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Industrial robotics pioneer, Joe Engelberger, recently passed away at age 90​.

Manufacturing has lost another one of its pioneers with the announcement of Joe Engelberger’s passing. Many younger members of the manufacturing community might not know his name, but I wager all are familiar with his legacy.

Mr. Engelberger is considered the father of industrial robotics. In 1956 he, with George Devol, co-founded Unimation Inc., the world’s first robotics company. In 1961, the first industrial robot was installed in a General Motors plant, becoming a prototype for the wide ranging productivity enhancing thousands that have followed in industries around the globe.

The nascent industry that Mr. Engelberger founded has grown into a global industry of its own with applications that are limited only by the engineer’s imagination. The Robotics Industries Association named its annual award the Joseph F. Engelberger Award in recognition of his achievements.