Dr. David D. Grossman of IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center in 1982 directing the IBM RS 1 robotic system from the unit's computer console.
Instructions could be given to the RS 1 through either the system's keyboard/display or the device in Dr. Grossman's left hand. The system's arm, at center, is holding a small cube in its gripper. The arm could move in six directions at speeds up to 40 inches per second and could perform in a variety of precision assembly, parts insertion and other intricate manufacturing operations. The RS 1 operated under control of a powerful and easily used programming language -- AML (A Manufacturing Language) -- developed specifically for robotic applications by IBM researchers. AML permitted the RS 1 to respond moment-by-moment to changes in its work environment. For example, it could automatically realign a misfed part in order to complete a task.