Back in the day, roboticists were less about constructing sleek robo-sapiens and more about building robots who could smoke, yodel, and shoot firearms. Popular Science has a gallery of vintage robot articles, and it's a hoot.
Top image: Cowbot: May 1933
[via Popular Science]
In August 1958, we featured a story on robot-like bulletproof armor for the Detroit police. A year later, the Russian media picked up the story, retitling it "Robot is Bulletproof," and claimed that American engineers were selling the equipment to Al Capone and the KKK. Wild!