A History of Robots

The future waits for nobody so English Teacher Online invites you to explore a history of robots. You are encouraged to design your own robot and buy a robot kit to build at home.

A History of Robots

Possibly the first robot was built in the 10th Century BC in ancient China.  A scientist made a mechanical man as a present for the Emperor.

During the Industrial Revolution, many factories began installing machines to do the work of people, such as the “Spinning Jenny”.

However, it wasn’t until after the invention of electricity and computers that robotics could really grow.

The word “robot” was first used in 1921.  It comes from the Czech word “robota” which means “to serve”.  This is because robots are designed to serve humans.

The first robot made to work in a factory was called “Unimate”.  It was invented in 1961 for the General Motors car company.

Since then, many more robots have been made.  Lots of car and computer factories don’t use human workers, as they become automated.

Robots can also do dangerous things that humans can’t do.  Robots are built to explore inside volcanoes, or travel to the bottom of the sea.

One day, we might all have robot servants that live in our houses and do all our work, such as cleaning, washing the dishes, and walking the dog.

However, we must be careful.  If robots get too powerful, they might not like being servants anymore.  They might decide to take over the world, like they did in the movie Terminator.


The next generation of robots will be created by you. How are you going to help develop the history of robots?


You can ask questions in the comments section, but you may want to keep you best revolutionary idea secret!

If you like this page, please check out our STEM page about learning with robots.

New Years Day by U2

One of my favourite New Year songs is New Years Day by U2. Originally released in 1983, it’s a timeless song that longs for a peaceful future.

Today English Teacher Online invites you to study the lyrics, trusting that you’ll be renewed with energy to build a better world.

We’ll also help make your New Year’s resolution English action plan too.


New Years Day Lyrics by U2

All is quiet on New Year’s Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes on New Year’s Day
On New Year’s Day

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers says, says
Say it’s true it’s true…
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one

I…I will begin again
I…I will begin again

Maybe the time is right
Oh…maybe tonight…

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

And so we’re told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage
Though I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes
On New Year’s Day
On New Year’s Day

What dreams and goals do you have for the new year?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section or just go out and make contact with someone, somewhere!

Let’s help you make a New Year’s resolution English Action Plan.

Time Capsules

This week English Teacher Online takes part in history by inviting you to plan and bury your own time capsules.

Time capsules are collections of historic artifacts or information, usually intended as a method of communication with people in the future – especially archaeologists.

Here’s a video of the Boston Time Capsule from 1652


What Would You Put In Your Time Capsule?

Get into groups of 3 or 4.

Choose 3 items each that you want to put in your time capsule.

When do you want archaeologists to open your time capsule?

What do you want to communicate to people in the future?

Write a few sentences explaining what your things are and why you want people in the future to find them.

Now think of a good place to bury your time capsule.

If you can’t actually make a time capsule to hide away, why not try making a poster with pictures of the things you chose?

Please share some of your ideas in the comment section and have fun being a part of history!

This lesson is the third in our history trilogy which also includes, Introduction to History and Ancient History modules.