An android is a robot or synthetic organism designed to look and act like a human. The word derives from ανδρός, the genitive of the Greek ανήρ anēr, meaning "man", and the suffix -eides, used to mean "of the species; alike" (from eidos, "species"). Though the word derives from a gender-specific root, its usage in English is usually gender neutral. The term was first mentioned by St. Albertus Magnus in 1270 and was popularized by the French writer Villiers in his 1886 novel L'Ève future, although the term "android" appears in US patents as early as 1863 in reference to miniature humanlike toy automations.
Thus far, androids have largely remained within the domain of science fiction, frequently seen in film and television. However, some humanoid robots now exist.
The term "droid" - invented by George Lucas in Star Wars (1977) but now used widely within science fiction - although originally an abbreviation of "android", has been used (by Lucas and others) to mean any robot, including distinctly non-humaniform machines like R2-D2.
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