Far from the famed R2-D2 and Johnny Five, most home robots of the 1980s were little more than programmable toys. The cassette-tape-powered Tomy Omnibot 2000 here lacked AI, but it did have a remote control, alarm clock, music playback and motorized arms that could carry a tray of drinks. The year 1987 marked the debut of the World Solar Challenge, the first solar-powered car race. The winner, General Motors' Sunraycer, used a total of 8,800 solar cells to generate a maximum of 1,500 watts, giving the vehicle a top speed of 68 miles per hour.
Now considered the grandfather of modern electric cars, the Sunraycer cost more than $2 million (in 1987 dollars) to build, Everything went digital in the 1980s, even guitars, The Casio DG20 Digital Guitar, seen here, doubled as a MIDI controller, offering 20 preset sounds, adjustable tempos and a built-in speaker, Hear it here, as featured in an episode of "Flight of the Conchords."Though pagers had been around since 1949, the tech made a big leap forward in 1987 with the introduction of the Motorola PMR 2000, The "Personal Message Receiver" was capable of transmitting alphanumeric messages via the attempted murder iphone case SkyTel service of up to 1,950 characters, with 32 characters appearing on the screen at once..
Previously, high-end pagers were only able to display call-back numbers. The groundbreaking M2 Pocket Phone by Excell Communications was a much more expensive option to stay in touch on the go. But the first cellphone small enough to fit in a pocket didn't come cheap: It launched in Britain with a price tag of £2,500, or about $3,750. An ownership stake in Excell Communications was sold to Nokia in 1991. In 1987, USA Today became the first US newspaper to publish a digital photograph on its front page. Though that photo came from an older, RC-701 model, most of the paper's photojournalists that year were armed with this, the 600,000-pixel Canon RC-760. With it, photos taken on the West Coast could be transmitted to the East Coast in just minutes.
The camera retailed for $5,500, pricing it well out of hobbyists' hands, The Fisher-Price PXL-2000 camcorder was one of the coolest toys of 1987, The device recorded short, grainy, black-and-white videos onto standard 90-minute audio cassette tapes, The year 1987 was huge for Adobe: It's when the software company released version 1.0 of Adobe Illustrator for the Apple Macintosh, Adobe Photoshop, meanwhile, wouldn't come along until February 1990, The year 1987 saw a major innovation in the airline industry: digital controls, Shown here during a February 22, 1987 test flight, attempted murder iphone case this Airbus A320 airliner was the first to fly using computer-driven, fly-by-wire controls..
The new digital control system offered huge safety benefits, preventing pilots from making maneuvers that would harm the plane's structural integrity. Video rental stores drove huge industry growth in the latter half of the 1980s. According to the World Almanac, only 14 percent of TV households owned VCRs in 1985. By the end of the decade, that number had jumped to 66 percent. Much of the market would eventually be captured by Blockbuster Video, founded in late 1985. On October 19, 1987, a bad day at the New York Stock Exchange turned into one of the worst crashes in market history when Wall Street's new computerized trading algorithms blindly and aggressively accelerated selling in the face of an already sharp decline. With computers in control, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped 508.32 points in a single day, a whopping loss of 22.6 percent.