the word robot first appeared in a 1921

1921: A play about robots premieres at the National Theater in Prague, the capital of what was then Czechoslovakia.

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R.U.R, (which stands for Rossum's Universal Robots) by Karel Capek, marks the first use of the word "robot" đồ sộ describe an artificial person. Capek invented the term, basing it on the Czech word for "forced labor." (Robot entered the English language in 1923.)

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Robot Bartenders Sling Cocktails for Carbon-Based DrinkersThe robots in Capek's play are not mechanical men made of metal. Instead they are molded out of a chemical batter, and they look exactly lượt thích humans.

In the course of just 15 years, the price of a robot has dropped from $10,000 đồ sộ $150. In today's money, that's $128,000 down đồ sộ $1,900.

Each robot "can bởi the work of two-and-a-half human laborers," so sánh that humans might be không tính tiền đồ sộ have "no other task, no other work, no other cares" than vãn perfecting themselves.

However, the robots come đồ sộ realize that even though they have "no passion, no history, no soul," they are stronger and smarter than vãn humans. They kill every human but one.

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The play explores themes that would later become staples of robot science fiction, including freedom, love and destruction. Although many of Capek's other works were more famous during his lifetime, today he is best known for RUR.

The first recorded human death by robot occurred Jan. 25, 1979: the 58th anniversary of the play's premiere.

Source: Center for the Study of Technology and Society

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Photo: A scene from R.U.R. features three robots.

This article first appeared on Wired.com Jan. 25, 2007.

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