This 1920 play by Czech author Karl Capek is the origin of the word robot. Capek's brother, Josef, also a writer, came up with robotkin from the Czech robota, meaning drudgery.
The play begins when Helena, an activist, comes to Rossum's Universal Robots' factory to free the robots, organic-based, cheap, artificial workers. She stays at the factory for several years as the human population dwindles and the robots take over. Led by Damon, they are bent on destroying humankind, but need the recipe to make other robots before man can be eliminated.