I have decided to compile a list of robots which I use on a regular basis. Notwithstanding the origin of the word in Kopek’s RUR, and the advent of driverless cars, I am going to use my own definition of ROBOT:-
Robot: A man-made device that saves me at least of time, energy, or thought.
Robot (1) The Fast-Forward Button on my VCR
Once the movie is ended, I press the fast-forward button on my VCR or remote control, and walk away. When I return, the tape will have wound to the far end, stopped, and been rewound with a constant tension until the start is reached, at which time, the VCR will eject the tape, leaving it ready for me to extract and then pop into its little box.
Robot (2) The Toilet-Cistern Lever
I press the lever on the side of the toilet cistern, and my bodily wastes are flushed away, the toilet pan is rinsed out by moving water, and the cistern refills. Not only that, but a robotic action determines when the cistern is sufficiently full and terminates the entry of water into the cistern.
Robot (3) The Little Toaster Oven
I pop two slices of home-made bread into the little toaster and press the lever, and get back to making myself a cup of tea. The toaster element is switched on by my action, the elements heat up and brown my bread until the thermostat kicks in and triggers a sprung release of the circuitry. The toast waits for me to extract it from the oven.
Robot (4) The Elevator (or Lift)
I press a button and the elevator car arrives at my floor. I enter the car, press a button, and I am safely delivered to the floor of my choice, and even if someone else has called the elevator, the elevator will not forget that I want to go somewhere, and it will take me there.
Robot (5) The Washing Machines and Clothes Dryers
Up on the 8th floor is the Laundry Room. I tip a pail of pre-soaked clothing into a machine, insert two quarters, press a button and walk away. Thirty minutes later my clothes have been twice-rinsed and spun dry. I place these damp clothes in the dryer, insert two quarters, press a button and walk away. Sixty minutes later my clothes have been tumbled dry. The shirts are without a crease, the towels are fluffy.