When I was at the college, I was studying the "Information technology". It was newly created field of study at that time (2008) at the Technical University of Liberec. One day, I was made aware that my fellow student, which was studying a different field, had this beautiful class of robotics. I came to the people in charge of that class and asked if I can go to the classes, even though it wasn't in my study plan. They said yes, and so I was able to play with robots.
These manipulators were controlled with this huge industrial computer, programmed with floppy discs and hand-held control panels:
I was quite impressed how easy it was to program motions of the manipulators. You choose coordinates and how to interpolate movement between them, and how much force to use. It was quite nice and entertaining. Here is my hand with control interface:
The interface was really cool and intuitive, but also pretty heavy and my hand was constantly in pain from the strange angle I had to old it in order to be able to program it.
Here are some smaller robots we could play with.
In retrospective, I feel really stupid that I didn't figure out that I can go to other classes from different fields of study before that.