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Cover image for Robots and drones : past, present, and future
Robots and drones : past, present, and future

1st ed.
Physical Description:
121 pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm.
Reading Level:
GN 640 L Lexile
Added Author:
Presents the history of robotics, from the world's earliest mechanized robots to modern machines used in the home, in the military, and in space exploration.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 629.892 SCO 0 1
Book J 629.892 SCO 1 1
Book J 629.892 SCO 1 1
Book J 629.892 SCO 1 1
Book J 629.892 SCO 0 3
Book J 629.892 SCO 1 1

On Order



In factories! In the sky! In your cars and phones! In your own home! Robots are everywhere! And they have been for a lot longer than you might realize.

From tea-serving robots in feudal Japan to modern rovers exploring Mars, robots have been humanity's partners, helpers, and protectors for centuries! Join one of the world's earliest robots, a mechanical bird named Pouli, as he explores where robots came from, how they work, and where they're going in this informative and hilarious new book! Ever dreamt of building your own best friend? It might be easier than you think!

Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic--dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, flying machines, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you're a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty year old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you!

Author Notes

Mairghread Scott is an animation and comic book writer. Her animation includes Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy , Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors, and more. Her published books include Marvel Universe Guardians of the Galaxy , Transformers: Till All Are One , Transformers: Windblade , Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 and The Secret on the Other Side (also from First Second).

Jacob Chabot is an Eisner Award--nominated and New York Times-- bestselling cartoonist. He is best known for his work on all-ages comics like Spongebob Comics , The Simpsons , and his creator-owned book The Mighty Skullboy Army .

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-In this entry in the series, a mechanical bird reputed to have been invented in the fourth century BCE squires readers through a history of robotics and looks at the evolving role of robots, drones, and artificial intelligence (AI) in work and daily life. The narrator painstakingly explains that true robots are a specific type of machine designed to perform tasks in response to outside stimuli and traces their development from a hypercute 17th-century Japanese toy called a "karakuri ningyo" to today's smart homes and self-navigating aerial drones. The bird also offers general descriptions of the components in build-it-yourself robot kits, plus assorted references to robots in film and science fiction. Military drones, the purported danger of autonomous AI, and even AI rights receive glancing mentions, but troublesome issues of privacy, data theft, and jobs lost to automation go unexplored. In covering such a large subject, the narrative occasionally reads like a stodgy lecture ("Proto-robots are referenced in the Iliad"), but the sequential art-which features a diverse cast of young STEM enthusiasts, including one wearing a hijab-infuses the discourse with life. VERDICT Readers in upper elementary grades, especially young makers and those with a particular interest in technology, will be drawn to this title, but it would be wise to have more judicious treatments of the topic on hand to counter its relentlessly optimistic viewpoint.-John Peters, Children's -Literature Consultant, New York © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

This entertaining (and timely) volume in the educational graphic-novel series takes a look at the history of robots, guided by a mechanical bird from ancient Italy named Pouli ("the first machine that ever flew through the sky"). The comic-book layout is easy to follow, and the detailed text is matched with art that is bright, expressive, and meticulous. Glos. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

This latest entry in the graphic-nonfiction series Science Comics introduces readers to the history of robotics and explains what is and what is not a robot. The conductor on this entertaining guided tour is a birdlike robot called Pouli, conceived by Greek mathematician Archytas and propelled by steam, the first machine to fly through the sky back in 350 B.C.E. Defining a robot as "a machine that senses something in its environment, makes a choice about what it senses, and performs an action in response," Pouli explains how robots are everywhere, from the ocean floor and the surface of Mars to our kitchens. Robots do everything from make coffee and vacuum floors in our homes to defuse bombs and explore the interiors of volcanoes. Pouli offers a refresher on simple machines like levers and pulleys to demonstrate how those simple concepts became the building blocks for the complex machines we have today. Drones are treated as a subset of robotics rather than a separate technology. The narrative focuses on the positives robots and drones can accomplish and the human component of computer programming. Isaac Asimov, who formulated the Three Laws of Robotics, is also recognized. Chabot's clean, full-color panels shift between illustrated anecdotes and often humorous diagrams to convey the information, and they are populated by racially and culturally diverse figures both historical and fictional. An unfortunate oversight is the lack of suggestions for further reading. A lighthearted, enjoyable introduction to a fascinating subject. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Taking a broad definition of robot a machine that senses something in its environment, makes a choice about what it senses, and performs an action in response Scott and Chabot's lively, humorous panels offer up a surprising range of robots. Robots that walk, assemble cars, and perform surgery are all a given; but what about a coffee maker, thermostat, or touch lamp? They all fit the definition and are easy illustrations for concepts such as sensors, input, and output. In precise, colorful artwork, the pair cover the history of robots and automatons, programming languages, and some components of robot construction, among other topics. A section addressing robot ethics, concerns about advancements in artificial intelligence, and controversy over military drones will get readers thinking critically, too. It's a dizzying array of thought-provoking facts, and the enthusiastic tone and obvious excitement about the field is infectious luckily, there's a section about building robots from kits and joining robotics clubs at school for readers who want to get more involved. Another engrossing, illuminating installment in the always reliable Science Comics series.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2018 Booklist

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