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News: Technology
The automatic maid (replica), Museum of Ancient Greek Technology
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by Archaeology Newsroom

This is the world’s first robot

The Automate Therapaenis (automatic maid) , a 3rd c. BC technological miracle

This is the world’s first robot. The Automate Therapaenis (automatic maid) was the name of a technological miracle mentioned by Philo Byzantios during the 3rd c. BC. The maid was actually a life-sized doll holding an oenochoe ( wine-jug) with its one hand, having the other hand free and extended to receive a drinking vessel. The doll had a mechanism transferring wine and water from two pots interred in its body, to the jug she was holding, through tubes passing along her hand. Another set of tubes, going through her free hand and her body too, were there to enable pouring liquids by providing air. When somebody was placing a drinking vessel on her free hand, the wine (first) and the water (second) would come automatically from the wine-jug and they would stop once the drinking vessel was lifted.

A replica of this mechanical ancient Greek miracle is to be found in the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology, in Katakolo Ileias, the Peloponnese, Greece.