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What's the closest word Classical Latin (Greek?) would have used for mobile machines, even if they don't have a human shape? (NB: this answer is adapted slightly from another answer I gave here) I think perhaps automaton or automatum. I’m not aware of any Roman writings on robots as such, whereas the Greeks wrote surprisingly frequently about robot-like ...


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The word was invented by Karel Capek's brother in 1920 and used in his novel (in Czech), of which the title is translated into English as 'Rossum's Universal Robots'. It suggests (forced) labour robota and related words in Slavic languages (e.g. Russian robotnik, 'worker'). The Romans adopted plenty of foreign words quite without shame, for simple ...


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