100 years of the word 'robot'

100 years of the word ‘robot’

The term was first used in a Czech-language science fiction play

R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) by Karel Čapek premiered in January 1921

The word "robot" comes from the Czech "robota"

which roughly translates as "forced labor"

The play was about a factory that makes artificial people

who eventually overpower the human race

The theme of robot revolt has since had a huge impact on popular culture

inspiring scripts for films such as

'Star Trek'

'Battlestar Galactica'

and 'Blade Runner'

In the years since the play’s opening night

robots big and small

have been programmed to carry out all sorts of tasks

They can disinfect hospital floors

check you into a hotel

keep us company

serve you lunch

encourage social distancing

and even try and cheer you up