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George Charles Devol, Jr., opened his first manufacturing company when he was just 19 years old, in the depths of the Great Depression. It was the first step in a lifelong commitment to transforming factory efficiency and safety. With his revolutionary concept of universal automationUnimation he cofounded the first and largest robotics company in the world. He held 36 patents, including the first industrial robot. Sadly, he passed away in August 2011 at the age of 99. Earlier that year, he agreed to this, his final interview. He was robust, living independently in his own home, and driving his own car; his recall of his career and life was complete and precise. He generously gave access to his private photo and document archive, and the photographs included here are his. All visualizations of patent data are based on information gathered from U.S. Patent and Trade Office records and Google Patents.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2012