Where did the word robot come from? Let’s travel back to 1920, when Czech writer Karel Čapek wrote a sci-fi play about hard-working, human-like machines. Wait, first let’s go back farther: more than 1000 years. Jessica Oreck, Rachael Teel, and TED Ed will explain.

Check out more Lessons of Vernacular here, and from the archives: ROBOTS, including this one that’s up in space, this one that does backflips, and this one that rides a bike.

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