noun ro·bot \ˈrō-ˌbät, -bət\

: a real or imaginary machine that is controlled by a computer and is often made to look like a human or animal

: a machine that can do the work of a person and that works automatically or is controlled by a computer

Full Definition of ROBOT

a :  a machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts (as walking or talking) of a human being; also :  a similar but fictional machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often emphasized
b :  an efficient insensitive person who functions automatically
:  a device that automatically performs complicated often repetitive tasks
:  a mechanism guided by automatic controls
ro·bot·ism \ˈrō-ˌbä-ˌti-zəm, -bə-\ noun

Origin of ROBOT

Czech, from robota compulsory labor; akin to Old High German arabeit trouble, Latin orbus orphaned — more at orphan
First Known Use: 1922

Other Mechanical Engineering Terms

centrifuge, differential, flange, lathe, linchpin, pinion, plenum, ratchet, traction
ROBOT Defined for Kids


noun ro·bot \ˈrō-ˌbät\

Definition of ROBOT for Kids

:  a machine that looks and acts like a human being
:  a machine that can do the work of a person automatically or under the control of a computer

Word History of ROBOT

In 1923 the play R.U.R., by Karel Čapek, opened in London and New York. In the play R.U.R. stands for Rossum's Universal Robots, a company formed by an English scientist named Rossum to manufacture humanlike machines called robots to do hard, boring jobs. In Czech—the language of what is today the Czech Republic and the original language of the play—the word robota means forced labor, and Čapek based his new coinage robot on this word. Čapek's play was popular, and soon the word became a general term for machines that can perform the tasks of a person.


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