MIT and NASA engineers demonstrate a new kind of airplane wing

A team of engineers has built and tested a radically new kind of airplane wing, assembled from hundreds of tiny identical pieces. The wing can change shape to control the plane's flight, and could provide a significant boost ...

Robotel: Japan hotel staffed by robot dinosaurs

The reception at the Henn na Hotel east of Tokyo is eerily quiet until customers approach the robot dinosaurs manning the front desk. Their sensors detect the motion and they bellow "Welcome."

Scientists shocked as NASA cuts only moon rover

In a move that shocked lunar scientists, NASA has cancelled the only robotic vehicle under development to explore the surface of the Moon, despite President Donald Trump's vow to return people there.

InSight Mars lander takes its first selfie

NASA's InSight lander isn't camera-shy. The spacecraft used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie—a mosaic made up of 11 images. This is the same imaging process used by NASA's Curiosity rover mission, in ...

'iPal' robot companion for China's lonely children

It speaks two languages, gives math lessons, tells jokes and interacts with children through the tablet screen in its chest—China's latest robot is the babysitter every parent needs.

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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