The Hilare robot was designed in 1977 at the LAAS (Laboratory of Analysis and Architecture of Systems) in Toulouse. It is regarded as the first French mobile robot capable of autonomously negotiating an unknown environment. To do so, it is able to perceive and analyse its surroundings in order to make appropriate decisions and react to non-repetitive events. It has ultrasound sensors to detect nearby objects and a directional laser to chart the environment, as well as an odometer to measure distances covered. The information it captures is processed by four Intel 80286 microprocessors. The successive versions of this research project led to significant progress in modelling the environment and the autonomy, reactivity and programming of mobile robots. LAAS donated it to the museum in 2006.