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robots

robots


ro·bot  (rbt, -bt)
n.
1. A mechanical device that sometimes resembles a human 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; see orbh- in Indo-European roots.]

ro·botic adj.
Word History: Robot is a word that is both a coinage by an individual person and a borrowing. It has been in English since 1923 when the Czech writer Karel apeks play R.U.R. was translated into English and presented in London and New York. R.U.R., published in 1921, is an abbreviation of Rossums Universal Robots; robot itself comes from Czech robota, servitude, forced labor, from rab, slave. The Slavic root behind robota is orb-, from the Indo-European root *orbh-, referring to separation from ones group or passing out of one sphere of ownership into another. This seems to be the sense that binds together its somewhat diverse group of derivatives, which includes Greek orphanos, orphan, Latin orbus, orphaned, and German Erbe, inheritance, in addition to the Slavic word for slave mentioned above. Czech robota is also similar to another German derivative of this root, namely Arbeit, work (its Middle High German form arabeit is even more like the Czech word). Arbeit may be descended from a word that meant slave labor, and later generalized to just labor.

robot [ˈrəʊbɒt]
n
1. (Engineering / General Engineering) any automated machine programmed to perform specific mechanical functions in the manner of a man
2. (Engineering / General Engineering) (modifier) not controlled by man; automatic a robot pilot
3. a person who works or behaves like a machine; automaton
4. South African a set of traffic lights
[(used in R.U.R., a play by Karel Čapek) from Czech robota work; related to Old Slavonic rabota servitude, German Arbeit work]
robotic  adj
robotism , robotry n
robot-like  adj

robot  (rbt)
A machine designed to replace human beings in performing a variety of tasks, either on command or by being programmed in advance.
robots

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