1. A mechanical device that sometimes resembles a human being and is capable of performing a variety of often complex human tasks on command or by being programmed in advance.

2. A machine or device that operates automatically or by remote control.

3. A person who works mechanically without original thought, especially one who responds automatically to the commands of others.


Czech., from robota, drudgery.  Compulsory labors.

* The foundation of the term robot as it is used today can be found in a science fiction book and a play written by Karel Capek.  The book is titled Valka s Mloky (War with the Newts) and the play is titled R.U.R (Rozuma Univerzalni Roboti) [rozum means wisdom] (Rozum's Universal Robots).

Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics

1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

* Thanks goes to George for this contribution.

Isaac Asimov