Any discussion of the history of technology is incomplete without a mention of the steam powered robots of Victorian times. In the days of steam power, everything you can think of was built in a steam powered form. That includes motorcycles, bicycles, coaches, and tricycles. The Victorian steam powered robot Boilerplate has already been discussed in this blog, (with more information at Boilerplate by Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan), but Boilerplate was really an improvement of an earlier steam powered robot, called Steam Man, built by a teenage prodigy and dwarf named Johnny Brainerd prior to 1865, according to writer Edward S. Ellis.
According to Brainerd,
"It was about ten feet in height, measuring to the top of the 'stove-pipe hat,' which was fashioned after the common order of felt coverings, with a broad brim, all painted a shiny black. The face was made of iron, painted a black color, with a pair of fearful eyes, and a tremendous grinning mouth. A whistle-like contrivance was made to answer for the nose. The steam chest proper and boiler, were where the chest in a human being is generally supposed to be, extending also into a large knapsack arrangement over the shoulders and back. A pair of arms, like projections, held the shafts, and the broad flat feet were covered with sharp spikes, as though he were the monarch of baseball players. The legs were quite long, and the step was natural, except when running, at which time, the bolt uprightness in the figure showed differed from a human being.
More information about Steam Man is at the page titled Steam Man.