Robot
(1) A cardzine.

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(2) Term introduced in 1920 by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossumovi univerzální roboti) (Rossum's Universal Robots); see below.

from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
(Capek; from Czech robota "servitude") Mechanism which carries out a series of actions without the need for supervision; exact line of demarcation between robotic and automatic machinery has not been drawn but would doubtless classify as robots those capable of reacting to an emergency in some other way than stoppage. Robots differ from androids and humanoids in not necessarily resembling people.

See Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics.