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Definition of ROBOT
a: a machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts (as walking or talking) of a human being; also: a similar but fictional machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often emphasized
b: an efficient insensitive person who functions automatically
: a device that automatically performs complicated often repetitive tasks
Any automatically operated machine that replaces human effort, though it may not look much like a human being or function in a humanlike manner. The term comes from the play R.U.R. by Karel Capek (1920). Major developments in microelectronics and computer technology since the 1960s have led to significant advances in robotics. Advanced, high-performance robots are used today in automobile manufacturing and aircraft assembly, and electronics firms use robotic devices together with other computerized instruments to sort or test finished products.