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Where does the word robot come from?

A rare example of a Czech word ('robota') entering English. The original meaning was compulsory or slave labour. It was only in the 1920s that the idea of a 'humanoid' machine became established.
Kathleen Richardson points out in this BBC broadcast

Listen!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00xpj0w#synopsis that our notions about robots are fanciful - they are generally clumsy, ineffective machines.

So robots are not going to rule the world any time soon. But are they going to challenging for the Marathon Gold Medal at the next Olympics? On this evidence, perhaps not:

Japanese Androids Train for First Ever Robot Marathon

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