Older manufacturing robots where definitely larger than those available today. One of the biggest things you'll notice when you compare robots from today and years ago is the size of the control box! Just like computers have shrank over the years, robot controller have shrank drastically, even to the point that some manufacturing robots don't have a seperate control box, all the electronics are built into the body of the robot.
Just imagine all the power that was required to run a desktop in the 70's and compare that to the little battery in your cell phone...and the cell phone is orders of magnitudes better at crunching numbers!
That being said, the heavier an object that needs to be picked up is, the larger motors will be required. Electric motor designs have only made small incremental improvements over the years and not much has changed in terms of power density. At the end of the day, torque is proportional to current. There is some promising technology coming from humaniod robots that involves liquid cooling DC motors, that help reduce motor size, but I think power consumption is the same.