The Resistance of the Seventh Matrix believed that humanity created (in Morpheus' words "gave birth to") a single Artificial Intelligence during the early part of the 21st century. This A.I. then in turn created ("spawned") the sentient Machines and Programs.
For a time, it was peace and harmony as Machines were made to work serving humans, cleaning households and perform other hazardous working conditions Humans used to do. As a result, the humans became increasingly lazy and arrogant while the machines became more and more advanced with different models of each decade or so. It later got to a point where the Machines somehow started to gain sentience and a sense of self-preservation.
Hoverpad technology seems to have been invented by 2026 at the latest, when the oldest known Hovercraft to survive to the time of the Seventh Matrix, the Pequod, was built in the United States of America. This was followed by the Nebuchadnezzar (2069), and the Osiris (2079), with the Logos, Vigilant and Mjolnir being built in the early 22nd century.