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A robot is a virtual or mechanicalartificial agent. In practice, it is usually an electro-mechanical systemintent or agency of its own. The word robot can refer to both physical robots and virtualsoftware agents, but the latter are usually referred to as bots. There is no consensus on which machines qualify as robots, but there is general agreement among experts and the public that robots tend to do some or all of the following: move around, operate a mechanical limb, sense and manipulate their environment, and exhibit intelligent behavior, especially behavior which mimics humans or other animals. which, by its appearance or movements, conveys a sense that it has
Stories of artificial helpers and companions and attempts to create them have a long history but fully autonomous machines only appeared in the 20th century. The first digitally operated and programmable robot, the Unimate, was installed in 1961 to lift hot pieces of metal from a die casting machine and stack them. Today, commercial and industrial robots are in widespread use performing jobs more cheaply or with greater accuracy and reliability than humans. They are also employed for jobs which are too dirty, dangerous or dull to be suitable for humans. Robots are widely used in manufacturing, assembly and packing, transport, earth and space exploration, surgery, weaponry, laboratory research, and mass production of consumer and industrial goods.
People have a generally positive perception of the robots they actually encounter. Domestic robots for cleaning and maintenance are increasingly common in and around homes. There is anxiety, however, over the economic effect of automation and the threat of robotic weaponry, anxiety which is not helped by the depiction of many villainous, intelligent, acrobatic robots in popular entertainment. Compared with their fictional counterparts, real robots are still benign, dim-witted, and clumsy.
The last property, the appearance of agency, is important when people are considering whether to call a machine a robot, or just a machine. (See anthropomorphism for examples of ascribing intent to inanimate objects.)
For robotic engineers, the physical appearance of a machine is less important than the way its actions are controlled. The more the control system seems to have agency of its own, the more likely the machine is to be called a robot. An important feature of agency is the ability to make choices.
However, for many laymen, if a machine appears to be able to control its arms or limbs, and especially if it appears anthropomorphic or zoomorphic (e.g. ASIMO or Aibo), it would be called a robot.
Even for a 3-axis CNC milling machine using the same control system as a robot arm, it is the arm which is almost always called a robot, while the CNC machine is usually just a machine. Having eyes can also make a difference in whether a machine is called a robot, since humans instinctively connect eyes with sentience. However, simply being anthropomorphic is not a sufficient criterion for something to be called a robot. A robot must do something; an inanimate object shaped like ASIMO would not be considered a robot.
It is difficult to compare numbers of robots in different countries, since there are different definitions of what a "robot" is. The International Organization for Standardization gives a definition of robot in ISO 8373: "an automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose, manipulator programmable in three or more axes, which may be either fixed in place or mobile for use in industrial automation applications." This definition is used by the International Federation of Robotics, the European Robotics Research Network (EURON), and many national standards committees.
The Robotics Institute of America (RIA) uses a broader definition: a robot is a "re-programmable multi-functional manipulator designed to move materials, parts, tools, or specialized devices through variable programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks". The RIA subdivides robots into four classes: devices that manipulate objects with manual control, automated devices that manipulate objects with predetermined cycles, programmable and servo-controlled robots with continuous point-to-point trajectories, and robots of this last type which also acquire information from the environment and move intelligently in response.
There is no one definition of robot which satisfies everyone, and many people have their own. For example, Joseph Engelberger, a pioneer in industrial robotics, once remarked: "I can't define a robot, but I know one when I see one." According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, a robot is "any automatically operated machine that replaces human effort, though it may not resemble human beings in appearance or perform functions in a humanlike manner". Merriam-Webster describes a robot as a "machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts (as walking or talking) of a human being", or a "device that automatically performs complicated often repetitive tasks", or a "mechanism guided by automatic controls".
Online gaming is treated like a sport in South Korea
The 28-year-old man collapsed after playing the game Starcraft at an internet cafe in the city of Taegu, according to South Korean authorities.
The man had not slept properly, and had eaten very little during his marathon session, said police.
Multi-player gaming in South Korea is extremely popular thanks to its fast and widespread broadband network.
Games are televised and professional players are treated, as well as paid, like sports stars.
Professional gamers there attract huge sums in sponsorship and can make more than $100,000 a year.
"We presume the cause of death was heart failure stemming from exhaustion," a Taegu provincial police official told the Reuters news agency.
He was taken to hospital following his collapse, but died shortly after, according to the police. It is not known whether he suffered from any previous health conditions.
They added that he had recently been fired from his job because he kept missing work to play computer games.
Online computer games are some of the most popular and largest growth areas in interactive entertainment.
Players can easily get immersed and feel compelled to play for hours at a stretch, particuarly in massively multiplayer online role playing games - MMORPGs - in which thousands of gamers play and interact in shared fantasy or science fiction worlds.
Reports of gamers spending 10 to 15 hours a day in front of video games, such as the highly popular World of Warcraft and EverQuest, are becoming more frequent. Experts say gamers should take regular screen breaks.
Psychologist Professor Mark Griffiths, author of several in-depth studies into online gaming and gambling addiction, told the BBC News website that, according to his research, playing excessively was not problematic in any shape or form for the majority of gamers.
He said: "It does seem to be the case that online gaming addiction for a small minority is a real phenomenon and people suffer the same symptoms as traditional addictions.
MMORPGs are social and immersive so require long periods of play
In one detailed survey of 540 gamers, Professor Griffith and his team found that there were four playing more than 80 hours a week, which is considered "excessive".
He explained many people liked to play MMORPGs for long periods of time because of the social aspect of the games.
"They are the types of games that completely engross the player. They are not games that you can play for 20 minutes and stop.
"If you are going to take it seriously, you have to spend time doing it," he said.
But he warned there was a difference between "healthy enthusiasm" and "unhealthy addiction." People who sacrificed jobs, partners and loved ones were considered "extreme players".
Unlike help for traditional addictions, such as gambling, there is very little help for computer game addiction, he said.
"It is not taken seriously yet - it is the same for internet addiction," he said.
He advised anyone worried about gaming addictions should contact their local GP and get referred to a psychologist.More than 15 million people, or 30% of the population, are registered for online gaming in South Korea. The country also host the annual World Cyber Games.