How William Shockley’s Robot Dream Helped Launch Silicon Valley

Photo: Robert W. Kelley/Time & Life Pictures/Getty ImagesROBOT DREAMER: The physicist William Shockley [shown in a 1963 photo] had many interesting ideas during his long career but perhaps none quite so sci-fi as his vision of a robotic workforce that would replace humans on factory floors and in the home. His passion for robotics and automation would form the backdrop for his decision to leave a successful career at Bell Labs and strike out for the West Coast. There, in 1955, he founded the first silicon electronics lab of what would become Silicon Valley.
Photo: U.S. Patent & Trademark OfficeSMART BOMB: In 1948, the same year he conceived