Last updated at 15:23 GMT, Wednesday, 14 December 2011


One of the robots in Robotville Festival

An iCub robot built by the Italian Institute of Technology

Robotville festival in London's Science Museum celebrates some of the latest inventions in robot designs in the world. The festival features 20 robots from laboratories across Europe. In the programme we hear that robotics have developed rapidly in Europe for the past few years due to an increase in funding for research.

This week's question: when was the word 'robot' first used to describe a machine that does the work for humans? Was it in:

a) 1880

b) 1900

c) 1920

Listen out for the answer at the end of the programme!



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a collection of things that are on show to the public


the latest or most advanced


rooms or buildings used for scientific research


to copy someone's behaviour or speech


the science of designing and operating robots

domestic chores

regular and usually boring tasks you have to do at home

artificial intelligence

computers copying intelligent human behaviour


a good copy of something


a strange or unpleasant feeling of fear

science fiction

a story that is based on imagined scientific discoveries of the future; often dealing with space travel and life on other planets