Shakey the Robot was the first general-purpose mobile robot to be able to reason about its own actions. While other robots would have to be instructed on each individual step of completing a larger task, Shakey could analyze commands and break them down into basic chunks by itself.
Due to its nature, the project combined research in robotics, computer vision, and natural language processing. Because of this, it was the first project that melded logical reasoning and physical action. Shakey was developed at the Artificial Intelligence Center of Stanford Research Institute (now called SRI International).
Some of the most notable results of the project include the A* search algorithm, the Hough transform, and the visibility graph method.
After SRI published a 24-minute video in 1969 entitled "SHAKEY: Experimentation in Robot Learning and Planning", the project received significant media attention. This included an April 10, 1969 article in the New York Times; In 1970, Life referred to Shakey as the "first electronic person"; and in November 1970 National Geographic Magazine covered Shakey and the future of computers. The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence's AI Video Competition's awards are named "Shakeys" because of the significant impact of the 1969 video.
This is peak Yuli Ban: an artificially intelligent robot from the 1960s and '70s, back when robotics and AI were pitifully weak. Shakey took a full hour just to cross the room!