Video: European Robotic Arm ready for space

The European Robotic Arm (ERA) will be launched to the International Space Station together with the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module, called 'Nauka'. ERA is the first robot able to 'walk' around the Russian segment ...

Recycling robot could help solve soft plastic waste crisis

Despite an improvement in plastic recycling in recent years, landfill is a growing issue. Soft plastics like cling wrap and plastic bags are a major contributor to the problem, with 94 percent going to landfill in 2016-17.

Robot chemist offers insight into the origins of life

A robotic 'evolution machine' capable of exploring the generational development of chemical mixtures over long periods of time could help cast new light on the origins of life, scientists say.

InSight Mars lander gets a power boost

The team behind NASA's InSight Mars lander has come up with an innovative way to boost the spacecraft's energy at a time when its power levels have been falling. The lander's robotic arm trickled sand near one solar panel, ...

Canada to send rover to Moon by 2026: minister

Canada will land a robotic rover on the Moon within five years, its industry minister said Wednesday, announcing that Ottawa plans to "dream big" as it advances its competitive stake in the growing global space market.

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Robot

Robot is a virtual or mechanical artificial agent. In practice, it is usually an electro-mechanical system which, by its appearance or movements, conveys a sense that it has intent or agency of its own. The word robot can refer to both physical robots and virtual software agents, but the latter are usually referred to as bots. There is no consensus on which machines qualify as robots, but there is general agreement among experts and the public that robots tend to do some or all of the following: move around, operate a mechanical limb, sense and manipulate their environment, and exhibit intelligent behavior, especially behavior which mimics humans or other animals. In South Africa, robot is an informal and commonly used term for a set of traffic lights.

Stories of artificial helpers and companions and attempts to create them have a long history but fully autonomous machines only appeared in the 20th century. The first digitally operated and programmable robot, the Unimate, was installed in 1961 to lift hot pieces of metal from a die casting machine and stack them. Today, commercial and industrial robots are in widespread use performing jobs more cheaply or with greater accuracy and reliability than humans. They are also employed for jobs which are too dirty, dangerous or dull to be suitable for humans. Robots are widely used in manufacturing, assembly and packing, transport, earth and space exploration, surgery, weaponry, laboratory research, and mass production of consumer and industrial goods.

Modern robots are usually used in tightly controlled environments such as on assembly lines because they have difficulty responding to unexpected interference. Because of this, most humans rarely encounter robots. However, domestic robots for cleaning and maintenance are increasingly common in and around homes in developed countries, particularly in Japan. Robots can also be found in the military.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA