The term was first used in Czech writer Karel Capek's 1920 play R.U.R., which stood for Rossum's Universal Robots. The word was actually coined by Capek's brother Josef - it comes from the Czech word "robota" meaning drudgery or servitude.

Swedish rock-group, using lots of old analogue synths combined with just as old drummachines to create their unique sound.

Band members are:

  • Karl-Linus Börjeson : bass, vocals and synthesizers.
  • Stefan Strandberg : vocals, guitars and synthesizers.
  • Magnus Hägglund : organ syntesizers and vocals.

Discography:

  • Automagic(album) - 1997.
  • Gross(single) - 1997.
  • Members of the Stars(single) - 1997
  • Kick the Bucket(single) - 1997
  • Fake or Real?(album) - 2000
  • She walked by(single) - 2000

Maybe i'll add some track listings, and even lyrics and some comments about the songs.. but that's just maybe..
From its first conception in RUR, the idea of robot has been that of slave.

It is curious, that this notion is what motivates people throughout time. First, it is justified by race, gender, sexual orientation. Now it's much more simplified--property.

The engineers in RUR presented their creation as the answer to all of humanity's needs. But their success was merely in failing to question the question itself.

All the problems Karl Capek presented in so compelling a manner, came about precisely because of this attempt to make a technical answer.

Why is it so easy to see and accept a technical answer, than to look deep?

But the answer to this question, at least, is easy--the technological answer is always the easier one.

The first recognisable modern robot was Unimate, a mechanical arm which began work in General Motors in 1961 obeying step-by-step commands stored on a magnetic drum.

The word robot was coined by the Czech playwright Karel Capek from a word in his native language meaning menial labour. His play ,RUR or "Rossum’s Universal Roberts", which opened in Prague in January 1921, depicted a society served by robots. Unfortunately, Capek’s creations develop emotions and overthrow their human masters!

One particular breakthrough announced last week came when scientists in the United States succeeded in devising a computer system that uses the principles of natural selection to design robots and then build them … The results, 3 walking plastic robots, evolved from hundreds of design concepts and manufactured with almost no human intervention.

The robots themselves, born from a rapid fabrication machine linked to a computer, emerged as strange spidery assemblages of plastic limbs, joints, and neural network connections. They were built by a process which grew them from solidified plastic in a way that emulated biological systems, so that they emerged from the machine fully constructed, except for the snap-on motors, the only part of their construction which had to be done by hand.

Functionally, they had widely different solutions to the problem of movement. A One tetrahedral-shaped robot advanced by pushing a central bar against the floor. BAnother adopted an anti-phase system with 2 upper limbs pushing while the central body retracts, and vice versa. CThe third had an elevated body from which it pushes an actuator down to the floor to create a ratcheting motion.

It was Hod Lipson and Jordan Pollack, the scientists from Brandeis University, Massachusetts who created these robotic life forms.

robocanceller = R = robust

robot n.

See bot.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Robot: A machine or device capable of performing a variety of tasks, usually by remote control, or by a stored program.

Originally from the Czech word, robota: compulsory or mechanical work and/or robotnik: worker, labourer. The term was first used in a play, R.U.R. Rossum’s Universal Robots, credited to Karel Capek (1890-1938), a Czech author. According to the University of Wisconsin, Eau Clair website, RUR was written in 1920, premiered in Prague early in 1921, was performed in New York in 1922, and published in English translation in 1923.

However, according to UWEC, it was not Karel who coined the word, but his brother, Josef Capek, also a respected Czech writer. Although the term was used to describe automata, it was not employed to predict a technological future, but to comment on working conditions and the paucity of intellectual life in certain parts of 1920s Europe.

The term was used in a variety of essays and stories, and gained considerable popularity in the novels and stories published during the 1930s and 40s, when it was used to describe increasingly sophisticated automata, or humanoid machines. In most of these works, the robot did not contribute significantly to the plot, fulfilling the role of the evil monster bent on destruction, or perhaps acting as the cutesy pet to the hero (or--inevitably--his girlfriend).

However, the word achieved formal recognition and intellectual credibility with Isaac Asimov’s essays and novels brought together under the I, Robot heading, and thereafter in his Foundation series of books.

The first of Asimov’s robot novels was called Robbie and featured a robot as the good guy, protecting a child from the bad guy (a human). The second story, Reason followed, and featured a robot who could not believe it was the product of human imaginations, and therefore attributed a supreme being with its creation. The third Robot story, Liar! is perhaps the beginning of modern robot ideas. In it, Asimov formulates the three laws of robotics.

  1. A robot may not injure a human, or allow a human to be injured.
  2. A robot must follow any order given by a human that doesn’t conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect itself unless that would conflict with the First or Second Laws.

A Zeroth law was added later: A robot may not harm the human collective.

The story, together with these three laws was first published in the May 1941 issue of Astounding magazine.

Robot plays against itself!

Allied & Leisure advertisement, circa 1975.


Robot was an old Bronze Age arcade game released by Allied & Leisure way back in 1975.


The story

Pong was released in 1972, and by 1973 there were already a dozen different Pong clones on the market, many of which were basically the exact same game. Robot didn't come on the scene until three years later, and it was one of the most complicated versions of Pong every created. Most Pong games used a simple paddle, some had a joystick that was surprisingly remniscant of those little 1986 era analog computer joystick; but Robot had itself a real set of controls.


The game

This title is pretty simple in terms of gameplay. The object is to avoid missing ball for high score, pretty simple right? Well to make it a bit more difficult you had to control two paddles at the same time, using a pair of heavy analog joysticks, and a velocity button. The game you were playing doesn't really seem to have an analog in the real world, the goal is at the lower end of each side of the screen, and you must put the ball through it, but the world has gravity dragging the ball down, and you bounce it like you were playing ping pong. Overall it is massively complex for a Pong game.

The Machine

Robot came in a woodgrain formica dedicated cabinet. It was very curvy and very sexy in a 1970s sort of way, if you like cheap woodgrain panelling and burnt orange carpet then you would love what Robot looks like.

The front of the machine featured a fairly low key monitor bezel that actually had volume and brightness knobs right there where the players could mess with them (some games were still getting modified television sets back in 1975, and this was one of them. Coins were inserted on the control panel, twenty five cents for one player and fifty cents for two players.

The controls consisted of four heavy duty analog top fire sticks (basically flight sticks), one controlling each paddle, with each player controlling a pair of paddles. I feel these controls were a little bit too much for most people. It is hard enough to play games like Robotron 2084 that simply have two 8-way joysticks, trying to handle two analog sticks at the same time with buttons on them is just more than most people can handle.

The game itself was run by a single circuit board that contained exactly zero processors running at zero mhz, along with zero ram, and no information stored in EPROMS. In fact the entire thing was done with analog circuits and logic gates. You could actually copy this game perfectly just by soldering up an identical circuit board, there was no game code to copy, just hardware. The game is displayed on a modified 23" black and white television with the tuner removed. In the past I have successfully replaced these displays with other television models with only minor modifications.


Where to play

Actually, you can't really play this game anywhere. It is not emulated by any current software (not even MAME), and would be hard to do because it would require emulating analog circuits. It would be much easier to simply clone this title, than it would be to emulate it. Which is really too bad, because it is pretty sweet; well it is pretty sweet for a Pong clone.

You may want to add this to your arcade game collection. But you are probably going to have a really hard time finding one that still works. If you do manage to find one, then it will probably be fairly cheap. Most 70s era ball and paddle games sell for very affordable prices, but any individual early 70s title besides Pong will be almost impossible to locate, and this game is no exception to that rule.

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