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
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