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Encyclopedia > Jacques de Vaucanson

Jacques de Vaucanson (February 24, 1709-November 21, 1782) was a French engineer and inventor who is credited with creating the world's first true robots, as well as for creating the first completely automated loom. February 24 is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... // Events January 12 - Two-month freezing period begins in France - The coast of the Atlantic and Seine River freeze, crops fail and at least 24. ... November 21 is the 325th day of the year (326th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1782 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... A humanoid robot manufactured by Honda. ... A Turkish woman in Konya works at a traditional loom. ...

Contents


Early life

He was born in Grenoble, France in 1709 as Jacques Vaucanson (the particle "de" was later added to his name by the Académie des Sciences [1]). The son of a glove-maker, he grew up poor, and in his youth he reportedly aspired to become a clockmaker [2]. He studied under the Jesuits and later joined the Order of the Minims in Lyon. It was his intention at the time to follow a course of religious studies, but he regained his interest in mechanical devices after meeting the surgeon Le Cat, from whom he would learn the details of anatomy. This new knowledge allowed him to develop his first mechanical devices that mimicked biological vital functions such as circulation, respiration, and digestion [3]. Location within France Grenoble (Occitan: Grasanòbol) is a city and commune in south-east France, situated at the foot of the Alps, at the confluence of the Drac into the Isère River. ... // Events January 12 - Two-month freezing period begins in France - The coast of the Atlantic and Seine River freeze, crops fail and at least 24. ... The French Academy of Sciences (Académie des sciences) is a learned society, founded in 1666 by Louis XIV at the suggestion of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to encourage and protect the spirit of French scientific research. ... The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu), commonly known as the Jesuits, is a Roman Catholic religious order. ... The Minims (also called the Minimi or The Order of the Minims) are followers of a religious order founded by Francis of Paola in the fifteenth century in Italy. ... City motto: Avant, avant, Lion le melhor. ...


Career as Inventor of Automatons

In 1737, he built his first automaton, The Flute Player, a life-size figure of a shepherd that played the tabor and the pipe and had a repertoire of twelve songs. The following year, in early 1738, he presented his creation to the Académie des Sciences [4]. At the time, mechanical creatures were somewhat a fad in Europe, but most could be classified as toys, and de Vaucanson's creations were recognized as being revolutionary in their mechanical life-like sophistication. Events 12 February — The San Carlo, the oldest working opera house in Europe, is inaugurated. ... A drummer automaton An automaton (plural: automata) is a self-operating machine. ... Tabor, or tabret, refers to a portable snare drum. ... Events February 4 - Court Jew Joseph Suss Oppenheimer is executed in Württenberg April 15 - Premiere in London of Serse, an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel. ... The French Academy of Sciences (Académie des sciences) is a learned society, founded in 1666 by Louis XIV at the suggestion of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to encourage and protect the spirit of French scientific research. ... Europe is conventionally considered one of the seven continents of Earth which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiographic one. ...


Later that year, he created two additional automatons, The Tambourine Player and The Digesting Duck, which is considered his masterpiece. The duck had over 400 moving parts, and could flap its wings, drink water, digest grain, and defecate [5]. He is credited as having invented the world's first flexible rubber tube while in the process of building the duck's intestines. Despite the revolutionary nature of his automatons, he is said to have tired quickly of his creations and sold them in 1743. Vaucansons duck The Canard Digérateur or Digesting Duck was an automaton duck created by Jacques de Vaucanson in 1739. ... // Events February 14 - Henry Pelham becomes British Prime Minister February 21 - - The premiere in London of George Frideric Handels oratorio, Samson. ...


His inventions brought him to the attention of Frederick II of Prussia, who sought to bring him to his court. Vaucanson refused, however, wishing to serve his own country [6]. Frederick II of Prussia (January 24, 1712 – August 17, 1786) was a king of Prussia from the Hohenzollern dynasty, reigning from 1740 to 1786. ...


Appointment to French Government

In 1741 he was appointed by Cardinal Fleury, chief minister of Louis XV, as inspector of the manufacture of silk in France. He was charged with undertaking reforms of the silk manufacturing process. At the time, the French weaving industry had fallen behind that of England and Scotland. Vaucanson promoted wide-ranging changes for automation of the weaving process. In 1745, he created the world's first completely automated loom. // Events April 10 - Austrian army attack troops of Frederick the Great at Mollwitz August 10 - Raja of Travancore defeats Dutch East India Company naval expedition at Battle of Colachel December 19 - Vitus Bering dies in his expedition east of Siberia December 25 - Anders Celsius develops his own thermometer scale Celsius... Cardinal Fleury, one of many studio copies of the official portrait by Hyacinthe Rigaud Cardinal André-Hercule de Fleury, Bishop of Fréjus (June 22 or 26, 1653–January 29, 1743) was a French cardinal who served as the chief minister of Louis XV. He was born in Lodève... Louis XV (February 16, 1710 – May 10, 1774), called the Well-Beloved (French: le Bien-Aimé), was King of France from 1715 to 1774. ... Silk weaver Silk is a natural protein fiber that can be woven into textiles. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my [birth]right) Englands location (dark green) within the British Isles Languages English (de facto) Capital London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001 Census) – Density Ranked... Motto: Nemo me impune lacessit (English: No one provokes me with impunity) Scotlands location within Europe Scotlands location within the United Kingdom Languages English, Gaelic, Scots Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow First Minister Jack McConnell Area - Total - % water Ranked 2nd UK 78,782 km² 1. ... // Events May 11 - War of Austrian Succession: Battle of Fontenoy - At Fontenoy, French forces defeat an Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian army including the Black Watch June 4 – Frederick the Great destroys Austrian army at Hohenfriedberg August 19 - Beginning of the 45 Jacobite Rising at Glenfinnan September 12 - Francis I is elected...


[7]. Vaucanson was busy automating the French textile industry with punch cards- a technology that, as refined by Joseph-Marie Jacquard more than a half century later, would revolutionize weaving and, in the twentieth century, would be used to input data into computers and store information in binary form. His proposals were not well received by weavers, however, and many of the more revolutionary ones were largely ignored. It has been suggested that Textile manufacturing be merged into this article or section. ... The punch card (or Hollerith card) is a recording medium for holding information for use by automated data processing machines. ... Joseph Marie Jacquard. ... Data is the plural of datum. ... The binary numeral system (base 2 numerals) represents numeric values using two symbols, typically 0 and 1. ...


He invented several machine tools, such as the first fully documented, all metal slide rest lathe, around 1751 (Though Derry & Williams, A short History of Technology, place this invention around 1768). It was described in the Encyclopédie. A machine tool is a powered mechanical device, typically used to fabricate metal components of machines by the selective removal of metal. ... A slide rest is part of a metal-turning lathe, and enables the turner to precisely control the movement of the tool, by means of a screw, as it is cutting. ... Conventional metalworking lathe In woodturning, metalworking, metal spinning, and glassworking, a lathe is a machine tool which spins a block of material so that when abrasive, cutting, or deformation tools are applied to the block, it can be shaped to produce an object which has rotational symmetry about an axis... Events Adam Smith is appointed professor of logic at the University of Glasgow March 25 - For the last time, New Years Day is legally on March 25 in England and Wales. ... Fig. ...


In 1746, he was made a member of the Académie des Sciences[8]. // Events Catharine de Ricci (born 1522) canonized. ... The French Academy of Sciences (Académie des sciences) is a learned society, founded in 1666 by Louis XIV at the suggestion of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to encourage and protect the spirit of French scientific research. ...


Legacy

He died in Paris in 1782. Vaucanson left a collection of his work as a bequest to Louis XVI. The collection would become the foundation of the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Paris. His original automatons have all been lost. The flute player and the tambourine player were reportedly destroyed in the Revolution. His proposals for the automation of the weaving process, although ignored during his lifetime, were later perfected and implemented by Joseph Marie Jacquard, the creator of the Jacquard loom. 1782 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Louis XVI (August 23, 1754, Versailles – January 21, 1793, Paris) was King of France and Navarre from 1774 until 1791, and then King of the French from 1791 to 1793. ... The Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) is a higher education establishment operated by the French government dedicated to providing education and conducting research for the promotion of science and industry. ... The Eiffel Tower, the tallest structure in Paris, is an international symbol of the city. ... The French Revolution (1789-1799) was a period in the history of France. ... Joseph Marie Jacquard. ... Jacquard loom on display at Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, England The Jacquard loom is a mechanical loom, invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801, which used the holes punched in pasteboard punch cards to control the weaving of patterns in fabric. ...


Lycee Vaucanson in Grenoble is named in his honor, and trains students for careers in engineering and technical fields.


See also

Engraving of the Turk The Turk was a famous hoax which purported to be a chess-playing automaton first constructed and unveiled in 1769 by Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734-1804). ...

References


  Results from FactBites:
 
Jacques de Vaucanson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (657 words)
Jacques de Vaucanson (February 24, 1709-November 21, 1782) was a French engineer and inventor who is credited with creating the world's first true robots, as well as for creating the first completely automated loom.
He was born in Grenoble, France in 1709 as Jacques Vaucanson (the particle "de" was later added to his name by the Académie des Sciences [1]).
Vaucanson was busy automating the French textile industry with punch cards- a technology that, as refined by Joseph-Marie Jacquard more than a half century later, would revolutionize weaving and, in the twentieth century, would be used to input data into computers and store information in binary form.
Digesting Duck - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (672 words)
Vaucanson disclaimed any attempt to make a perfect copy of the process of digestion, although he doubted whether the anatomists would feel that anything was left to be desired in the construction of the wings, ‘which had been imitated bone by bone’.
The Disgesting Duck of France was unveiled by its creator, Jacques de Vaucanson, as the first automaton able to metabolise food and digest it, expelling waste just as a mortal duck, in the spring of 1739.
Vaucanson quickly capitalised on the commercial success of his first android, modelled after a recent sculpture by Antoine Coysevox then in the gardens of the Palais des Tuileries, with the launch of a shepherd who played the tabor and pipe.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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