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According to Encyclopedia Britannica, a robot is any automatically operated machine that replaces human effort, though it may not resemble human beings in appearance or perform functions in a humanlike manner. By extension, robotics is the engineering discipline dealing with the design, construction, and operation of robots. The concept of artificial humans predates recorded history, but the modern term robot derives from the Czech word robota (“forced labour” or “serf”), used in Karel Capek’s play R.U.R. (1920). The play’s robots were manufactured humans, heartlessly exploited by factory owners until they revolted and ultimately destroyed humanity.
“Robots,” the animated feature film by Blue Sky Studios and Twentith Century Fox, is a movie about a world of robots. IMDB summarizes the plot line: “Even in a world populated entirely by mechanical beings Rodney Copperbottom is considered a genius inventor. Rodney dreams of two things, making the world a better place and meeting his idol, the master inventor Bigweld. On his journey he encounters Cappy, a beautiful executive ‘bot with whom Rodney is instantly smitten, the nefarious corporate tyrant Ratchet who locks horns with Rodney, and a group of misfit ‘bots known as the Rusties, led by Fender and Piper Pinwheeler.”
On WebUrbanist, they’ve hunted down some amazing robots. They recently studied upon on robots and picked some upcoming technology that is getting pretty futurist. One robot they wrote about recently was “The AMouse,” an artificial mouse that has whiskers. The whiskers are a sensory system for the robot in order to produced a similar navigational skill set to that of a real mouse. So what is the point of a robot mouse? Mice, being small, can work in small places, around hazardous materials, and can explore confined spaces. Robotic mice will be able to do things that the bigger cat-sized robots won’t be able to do!
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