Archive for January 25th, 2007

On this day (Jan 25) in 1921, the word “robot” was invented

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

1921: A new play premiers at the National Theater in Prague, the capital of what was then Czechoslovakia. R.U.R, (which stands for Rossum’s Universal Robots) by Karel Capek, marks the first use of the word “robot” to describe an artificial person. Capek invented the term, basing it on the Czech word for “forced labor.” (“Robot” entered the English language in 1923.)

The robots in Capek’s play are not mechanical men made of metal; instead they are molded out of a chemical batter and they look exactly like humans. Each robot costs the equivalent of $150 and “can do the work of two-and-a-half human laborers,” so that humans might be free to have “no other task, no other work, no other cares” than perfecting themselves.

However, the robots come to realize that even though they have “no passion, no history, no soul,” they are stronger and smarter than humans. They kill every human but one.

The play explores themes that would later become staples of robot science fiction, including freedom, love and destruction. Although many of Capek’s other works were more famous during his lifetime, today he is best known for RUR.

via Digg, Wired News 

Home Automation Used to Torment Children- Hilarity Ensues

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Home Automation used to torment children, finally a reasonable application for all this new technology…

home automation

“We love to torment our children,” Pam said.

Their children, Loran, 9, and Luke, 6, were scared of coyotes, so Carl programmed Rosie with a “beast” mode and informed the children that Rosie would alert them to any coyotes in the vicinity. One night when the family was grilling out back, Carl told Rosie to fulfill the beast mode, which included turning off all of the outside lights and saying: “Warning: There is a beast in the woods coming this way. Run. There is a coyote coming.”

Read full article (more serious stuff in actual article)Â