Science Diction: The Origin Of The Word ‘Robot’

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Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Robot is a relative newcomer to the English language. It was the brainchild of the Czech playwright, novelist and journalist Karel ?apek, who introduced it in his 1920 hit play, R.U.R., orRossum’s Universal Robots. Science historian Howard Markel discusses how ?apek thought up the word.

For many, the word robot conjures an image of a mechanical being clad in metal, adorned with all sorts of blinking lights and buttons, and even a funny-sounding voice. Indeed, such robots have become stock characters in science fictions stories, novels, films and television shows

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