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World’s First Robot was Made in Ancient Greece

The world's first robot in Ancient Greece
The world’s first robot in ancient Greece. The Automate Therapaenis (automatic server) poured water and wine. Credits: Video screenshot YouTube Kings and Things

The world’s first robot operated in ancient Greece. The Automate Therapaenis (Automatic Maid) was the name of a technological miracle during the third century BC.

The Automate Therapaenis was the work of engineer Philo of Byzantium (c. 280 – c. 220 BC). He was a Greek engineer, physicist, and writer on mechanics who was also known as Philo Mechanicus.

Philo was the author of a large volume of work entitled Mechanike syntaxis (Compendium of Mechanics). Although he hailed from Byzantium, he lived most of his life in Alexandria, Egypt.

The maid was actually a life-sized doll made of wood and copper holding an oenochoe, or wine decanter, with its one hand. The other hand was free and reached out as if to receive a drinking goblet. The ancient Greek “robot” had a mechanism that transferred wine and water through tubes passing along her hand from two containers in its body to the decanter she was holding.

It should be noted that ancient Greeks were only drinking wine mixed with water in precise proportions.

How the Ancient Greek Robot Worked

The Automate Therapaenis had her left arm hinged to her shoulders. It was held by a spring in its extension. From that point descended two tubes, entering and blocking the curved, perforated ends of the air ducts. The key pipes had two holes at their ends, namely the hole connected with the wine container and the other connected with the water.

When the goblet was placed in the palm of the maid’s hand, her left hand went down and the key tubes were lifted. The hole of one tube was aligned with the air tube of the wine decanter. Air entered the decanter, and wine flowed from the wine tube into the goblet. When the goblet was half full of wine, the weight pushed the hand to go down, and the passage of the wine’s air tube was blocked. The flow then stopped.


Το παλαιότερο ρομπότ του κόσμου! Τα επιτεύγματα των αρχαίων Ελλήνων είναι γνωστά σε όλο τον πλανήτη. Όλοι γνωρίζουν για την προσφορά τους στους τομείς της λογικής σκέψης, της επιστήμης των καλών τεχνών και της αρχαιοελληνικής τεχνολογίας. Το πρώτο λειτουργικό ρομπότ της ιστορίας, η αυτόματη Θεραπαινίς του Φίλωνος του Βυζαντίου (3ος αι. π.Χ.) Πρόκειται για ένα ανθρωποειδές ρομπότ με τη μορφή υπηρέτριας (σε φυσικό μέγεθος) που στο δεξί χέρι της κρατούσε μια κανάτα. Όταν ο επισκέπτης τοποθετούσε έναν κρατήρα (κύπελλο) στην παλάμη του δεξιού χεριού της εκείνη αυτόματα έριχνε αρχικά κρασί και στη συνέχεια για ανάμιξη, νερό στον κρατήρα ανάλογα με την επιθυμία του. Η υπηρέτρια λοιπόν γεμίζει το κύπελλό μας με καθαρό οίνο ή αραιωμένο με νερό στην ποσότητα που επιθυμούμε ανάλογα με τη χρονική στιγμή που θα το τραβήξουμε από την παλάμη της. Κάποια μέρα οι άρχοντες των ρομπότ μας της AI θα το λατρέψουν ως θεά πρόγονό τους 😂 🤖 Μπορείτε να επισκεφθείτε το Μουσείο Αρχαίας Ελληνικής Τεχνολογίας, Κώστα Κοτσανά στην Αθήνα, στην Αρχαία Ολυμπία, στο Κατάκολο και στην Κρήτη. • • • 📽️: kotsanasmuseum 👈 • • • greekhistory greektechnology ancientgreece greekculture greece🇬🇷 greek athens ancienttechnology ancient machine technology viral wonders #arxaiaellinika #fyp #tiktok

♬ πρωτότυπος ήχος – Ancient Greece – Ancient Greece


At the same time, the hole of the second tube was aligned with the air channel of the container with the water, and water began to flow to dilute the wine. When the cup was filled, the hand continued to go down because of the weight. The passage of the air channel of the water was blocked and the flow stopped.

A replica of this ancient Greek robot is to be found at the Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology, which has four branches. There are replicas in Athens, in Katakolo Elis and Ancient Olympia in the Peloponnese, and in Heraklion, Crete.

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