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A robot is a programmable machine with many functions, such as building automobiles or cleaning floors (as is the case with the Roomba). In science fiction, robots often are servants to the sentients of that galaxy.

  • "HOW ROBOTS WORK: Robots are made of roughly the same components as human beings: a body structure with moveable joints; a muscle system outfitted with motors and actuators to move that body structure; a sensory system to collect information from the surrounding environment; a power source to activate the body; and a computer "brain" system to process sensory information and tell the muscles what to do. Robots are manmade machines intended to replicate human and animal behavior. Roboticists can combine these basic elements with other technological innovations to create some very complex robotic systems." Battle of the 'Bots

Isaac Asimov popularized the notion of robots as faithful human servants with his "Three laws of robotics". The term robot achieved currency when Czech playwright Karel Capek published R.U.R. ("Rossum's Universal Robots")[1]

The typical industrial robot follows a predetermined sequence of actions, such as welding car parts together on an assembly line. Robots that use rules to make adjustments of their motion have only recently been developed.

Engineers studying the human gait have developed a walking robot.[2]

Cyborg is a term first defined in science fiction. The term is made up from the term cybernetic organism, and refers to anything that is part organic and part machine.

See also

Further reading

  • Arrick, Roger, and Nancy Stevenson. Robot Building for Dummies (2003) excerpt and text search
  • Cook, David. Robot Building for Beginners (2002) excerpt and text search
  • Launius, Roger D. and Howard E. McCurdy. Robots in Space: Technology, Evolution, and Interplanetary Travel (2008)


  1. Capek got the term robot from his older brother, Josef Capek. Who did actually invent the word "robot" and what does it mean?
  2. Teams Build Robots That Walk Like Humans