Universal Robotics : Effective Machines In Rossum's Universal Robots

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A robot is a programmable machine that can perform different tasks without direct human assistance and without redesigning the machine itself. Think of having a washing machine that you can change into a car simply by downloading a new app. Sort of like having the ultimate transformer.

Karel Capek was the first to use the word robot in 1921. Capek, being Czechoslovakia, used the word robota, from his native language, in a play he wrote to describe the fictional servant machines he created for the story. This word robota translates to English as forced service. This was mainly what Capkek’s play, Rossum's Universal Robots, was about; the quest for liberation of the robota from their human masters. Sounds like the plot for a lot of science fiction stories. Actually, it was Isaac Asimov who was the first to use the word robotics in 1941 and with that a whole new science fiction theme was born. It was not long after that, the term robot and robotics became well-used terms in our society for human like programmable machines.

Robot or Machine
Lots of times machines that can be operated from a remote location are inaccurately called a robot because most of these devices can do nothing on their own. A remote control model car is a good example of this. In robotics, these are called teleoperated machines. However, if the teleoperated machine can do things on its own (autonomously), and the operator just gives it directions once in a while, it may be a robot.
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