General English


  • noun a device that can be programmed to carry out certain manufacturing tasks which are similar to tasks carried out by people


  • A mechanical device with an incorporated computer, that is able to perform programmed tasks and which may or may not be autonomous. Robots can be equipped to detect environmental conditions and to react to them. They have many applications, and are most often used in assembly or manufacturing, being able to work with precision for very extended periods of time. In addition, the complexity of a given task, its repetitiveness, or the conditions under which it is done, can far exceed that which any human could duplicate. common elements which compose a robot are a controller and manipulators.
  • A program which performs tasks, especially repetitive ones, over networks such as the Internet. Searching Websites and organizing the located information is an example of a typical task for a bot program called spider. More commonly known as bot.


  • noun a set of traffic lights


  • (Czech robota, forced labour) An automaton with semi-humanpowers and intelligence. The name comes from the mechanical creaturesin Karel Čapek's play R.U.R. (Rossum's UniversalRobots), which opened in 1921 in Prague and was successfully producedin London in 1923. The play was a futuristic fantasy warning of thedangers of uncontrolled technological development.

Origin & History of “robot”

Robot is a Czech contribution to English. It comes from robota ‘forced labour, drudgery’, a word related to German arbeit ‘work’. It was used by the Czech dramatist Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) 1920 for ‘mechanical people constructed to do menial tasks’. English acquired it via German robot, and the first record of it in an English text comes from 1923.