malachiorion (1205130) writes "In 1936, the USPTO issued the first patent for a "robot." It wasn't much to look at, but Frederick A. Fowler's Robot Navigator was a precursor to today's GPS nav systems—it was intended to find its position on a backlit map, sliding gear-driven crosshairs along it's interior surface, based in incoming radio signals. And it was for airships! It doesn't get much more Teslapunk (actual Tesla inventions notwithstanding). From my Popular Science robotics blog: http://www.popsci.com/blog-network/zero-moment/first-robot-patent-teslapunk-nav-system-airships"