Tuesday December 9, 2003 The term 'robot' has been in existence for a short time - it was first used in 1920 by Czechoslovakian playwright Karel Capek and comes from the Czech robota, which means 'tedious labor.'One hundred years hence, in 2020, analysts project that most households will own a robot, or at least be considering one. Robotics is already a US$8 billion industry globally, but mostof the robots in use today are industrial robots employed in manufacturing for welding, painting and assembly line tasks. The consumer robotics marketplace is just emerging, with a gross of US$600 million in 2002, comprised mainly of programmable robots which mow lawns, clean floors and amuse children.
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