Robert Boyle was an important guy in the 17th C and he is considered one of the founders of modern chemistry. He was responsible for making chemistry a respected science. Because of him, it became a real science not a study of alchemy and mysticism. He introduced the idea of careful measurements and repeated experiments.
John Polanyi, still living and working at the University of Toronto won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in chemical kinetics. This Berlin born scientist is still an active contributor to the academic world at the age of 91.
Scientific developments in human history are a fantastic teaching tool. History has a huge impact on what we do today. Learning about our scientific past improves our scientific literacy skills, makes us appreciate how far we have come and it is fun for everyone to learn that our ancient ancestors were totally inventive and smarter than we might have thought.
Evolution of robotics has been happening a lot longer than anyone realizes. It began at least with the Egyptians over 1000 years BCE. Developments in artificial intelligence are taking robotics so much farther. There are amazon links in this post. As an affiliate I might make a small commission but at no cost to you.