The technical development of the industrial robots is one of the most dynamic development fields of the mechanical engineering. The universal applicability and the permanent development of new robot models, size classes and load categories, is the base for this dynamics. The article describes the evolution of the industrial robots being with the first economic applications in the sixties. As in the case of all industry products, the economic efficiently of capital goods is the main accelerating element for the growth. It is the target to describe the different motivations for investment in robot technologies in different decades. At this time, the first applications of robots took place in the lines of business, where human has reached his limits with his physical abilities. The motivation was quality and reproducibility for the use of robots in the eighties. There were about 150 robot manufacturers worldwide at that time. The robot became an industrial series product in the nineties. The efficiency of the application and the price of the robot were responsible for the growing robot population. Since turning of the millennium the technical further development, of for example vision-systems, opens up new fields of applications. Today approximately 10 robot supplier worldwide can follow the speed of the markets.