Robotics

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A robot in action on Mars.

Robotics is a part of engineering and science. It is the work of creating and building robots. It is interdisciplinary, involving people who have studied mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or computer programming. It also needs people who understand the work of the robot. As an example, geologists need to be involved in making a robot that will take soil samples on another planet.

Robots are sometimes used to do things that humans cannot, like finding and destroying bombs, or going places that are too hot, small, dangerous or distant for humans. Some robots look like humans, but most just look like machines. Some robots can move by themselves, others need to be partly or completely controlled by a human.

Robotics comes from the word robot, which in turn comes from the Slavic word robota. Robota means labor, or work. Karel Čapek invented the word robot to use in a play. This play was called R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots). The word robotics was first used by Isaac Asimov in his story "Liar!" published in 1941.