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Rossum's Universal Robots
Kirt's Cogitations™ #93

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Rossum's Universal Robots

The term "robot" was coined in 1921 by Czech playwright Karl Capek. It is based on the Czech word meaning "compulsory labor," or "serf," and was used in his play "R.U.R." (Rossum's Universal Robots). His robots were not mechanical in nature, but were created by chemical means. Capek himself rejected the idea that mechanical robots were possible, as evidenced by his 3rd-person writing, "It is with horror, frankly, that he rejects all responsibility for the idea that metal contraptions could ever replace human beings, and that by means of wires they could awaken something like life, love, or rebellion. He would deem this dark prospect to be either an overestimation of machines, or a grave offence against life." Capek died in 1938 before he could witness the first modern industrial robots. The Unimates were developed by George Devol and Joe Engelberger (the Father of Robots) in the late 50s and early 60s to handle parts transfer on production lines, and Unimation (Universal Automation) was formed to market the robots.

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