Robots “coexist” with us for years. Its name is similar in most languages, or with with a little variation (for example, in german it is said roboter).Howewer, the term is not an anglicism (as usually it happens with technology and new terms). It is a Czech word. The most widespread and used with this origin internationally.
But.. this I not the only curiosity linked to this topic! The factory in which first robots were created was a “dramatic factory”. The RUR (Rossum Universal Robots) is the setting for the homonymous play written by the playwright Karel Câpek in 1920.
At the beginning; Karel Câpek was going to call it labori, taking the Latin root, but it was his brother Josef who suggested the term robot as an evolution of robota, which was the way in which they referred to the situation of servitude (abolished in 1848) that existed in the Bohemian area.
The play was highly successful and shortly after its premiere at the National Theater in Prague in 1921, it did so in New York (1922) and London (1923).
Most of concepts that appear, referring to robotics with the current perspective, would be erroneous now (and it is also happens form a linguistic point). For example, it is said that robots are not born (they are manufactured), however, it does refer to their dying. It is curious to see how the issue of wanting to build a robot in the image and likeness of man is treated, avoiding the mistakes of man who makes nature that make it unproductive.
One of the “problems” that are soon detected in the work that robots have is that they lack all kinds of feelings (which on the other hand is a positive point to avoid distractions such as playing the violin). The fact of not feeling any pain generates certain problems in the production chain since they do not realize that, for example, they have lost an arm and, therefore, they do not carry out their chain work well. Dr. Gall finds the solution to this problem: to incorporate (to a small extent) the ability to feel pain … Although it already gets, why not also soul? … The consequences of this decision will trigger the conflict.
It is not a masterpiece, but it has the uniqueness of being considered the first science fiction play. The author himself wanted to see in his work an updated (1920) and modern version of the Czech myth of the Golem. RUR allows us to look, 100 years after its creation, to the mentality of a time that, even a beginner in a subject, presents the search for “beings” similar to the current attempts of clones and androids that are worth discovering