1. A mechanical device that sometimes resembles a human being and is capable of performing a variety of often complex human tasks on command or by being programmed in advance.
2. A machine or device that operates automatically or by remote control.
3. A person who works mechanically without original thought, especially one who responds automatically to the commands of others.
Czech., from robota, drudgery. Compulsory labors.
* The foundation of the term robot as it is used today can be found in a science fiction book and a play written by Karel Capek. The book is titled Valka s Mloky (War with the Newts) and the play is titled R.U.R (Rozuma Univerzalni Roboti) [rozum means wisdom] (Rozum's Universal Robots).
Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics
1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
* Thanks goes to George for this contribution.