I need help defining the word "robot" for the following assignment. Write your definition for the word robot:      What does a robot look like? How does your definition of the word robot...

I need help defining the word "robot" for the following assignment.

Write your definition for the word robot:     

  1. What does a robot look like?
  2. How does your definition of the word robot compare to these definitions?
  3. What are some robots that you encounter on a daily basis?
  4. How does our society use robots today?
Expert Answers
thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first documented use of the word robot was in the Czech language in 1921, in the play R.U.R. by Karel Čapek. Since that time, the term "robot" gradually became a staple of science fiction and eventually a term applied to real devices that automate many industrial tasks.

Although the robots of science fiction, especially those of Isaac Asimov, whose work had wide influence on the literary portrayal of robots, tend to be anthropomorphic, real world robotics focuses on creating devices that can automate certain groups of tasks, namely those that are simple and repetitive and can be more cheaply done by machines than humans (such as welding) or those which may be unsafe (such as inspecting areas with chemical spills or high levels of radioactivity). Increasingly, robots, who might be defined as autonomous devices capable of modifying their own programming, are used in a wide range of applications including medicine, space and undersea exploration, and industrial processes either to aid or replace humans. The appearance of robots varies with their function and can range from nanodevices to large machines. 

The Roomba vacuum cleaners are typical of the robots used in domestic, as opposed to industrial, applications. 

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