A robot is a virtual or mechanical artificial agent. In practice, it is usually an electro-mechanical machine which is guided by computer or electronic programming, and is thus able to do tasks on its own. Another common characteristic is that by its appearance or movements, a robot often conveys a sense that it has intent or agency of its own.

    * 1 Origins
    * 2 Etymology
    * 3 History
          o 3.1 Early modern developments
          o 3.2 Modern developments
    * 4 Definitions
          o 4.1 Defining characteristics
    * 5 Modern robots
          o 5.1 Mobile robot
          o 5.2 Industrial robots (manipulating)
          o 5.3 Service robot
    * 6 Social impact
          o 6.1 Regional perspectives
          o 6.2 Autonomy and ethical questions
          o 6.3 Military robots
    * 7 Contemporary uses
          o 7.1 General-purpose autonomous robots
          o 7.2 Factory robots
          o 7.3 Dirty, dangerous, dull or inaccessible tasks
          o 7.4 Military robots
          o 7.5 Schools
          o 7.6 Research robots
    * 8 Future development
          o 8.1 Technological trends
          o 8.2 Technological development
          o 8.3 Reading robot
    * 9 Problems depicted in popular culture
    * 10 Timeline
    * 11 Literature
    * 12 See also
    * 13 References
    * 14 Further reading
    * 15 External links

This article is written like a personal reflection or essay and may require cleanup. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. (November 2010)
Building the robot of Leonardo da Vinci

Since the beginning of civilization, man had a fascination for a human-like creation that would assist him. Societies in the early part of the first millennium engaged in slavery and used those slaves to perform the tasks which were either dirty or menial labours. Having slaves freed the enslavers to carry on their society, so they could concentrate on...