ROBOTS TECHNOLOGY LESSON
Print the Robots reading
comprehension passage and questions (see
Students should read the passage
silently, then answer the questions. Teachers may also use the text as
part of a classroom lesson plan.
What exactly is a robot? Is a robot a walking, talking, machine that takes on a near human form? Or, is it a mechanical device that performs the same action in an assembly line for 20 hours a day? Can we call a converted automobile that travels across the desert without the help of its human creators a robot? Maybe a robot can also be a creative sliver of software that cruises around the web collecting recipes for you while you are at school.
In today's world a robot is simply an automated machine that is designed to help people with their work. The term "robot" is derived from the Czechoslovakian word robota which means "tedious labor" or hard work! In 1920 the playwright Karel Capek created the word "robot" in his play RUR or Rossum's Universal Robots. In the play, humanoid machines take over the world by killing all the humans—well, all but one. You may have seen a similar story in the movie I-robot. Not to worry, though, because those kinds of robots don't exist…..yet.
The type of robot that we see in movies like I-robot and the Jetsons (Remember Rosie?) can think on their own, learn from their experiences, move about and makes decisions much like a human being -- without someone else telling them what to do. In reality, the robots that exist today cannot do these things. However, these science fiction robots have provided a vision of what robots might be someday -- thinking machines that help people.
It is best to think about robotics in the same way that we think about computers. The power of a computer is amazing and keeps getting better. However, a computer is dependent on us to type information into it or give it commands using the mouse or keyboard. Robots are typically computers with legs, arms or wheels. They cannot move or think unless we teach them to.
Print this science worksheet for this lesson.
Includes reading passage, questions,
and answer sheet.
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