Karel Čapek  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Karel Čapek (January 9, 1890December 25, 1938) was one of the most influential Czech writers of the 20th century. He introduced and made popular the frequently used international word robot, which first appeared in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) in 1921. Karel named his brother Josef Čapek as the true inventor of the word robot.

Čapek was born in Malé Svatoňovice, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic).

Čapek in popular culture

  • On the science fiction cartoon show Futurama (season 1, episode V - Fear of a Bot Planet), a planet inhabited entirely by robots was named "Chapek 9", as a reference to Karel Čapek's coining of the term "robot".
  • In the Star Trek episode "Requiem for Methuselah", the android Rayna Kapec was named in honor of Čapek.
  • A recurring character in the cartoon show Batman: The Animated Series was named Karl Rossum. He was an inventor that specialized in robots.
  • The story 'Big Robots' in Judge Dredd Megazine (#257 - ?) features a Mega City One tower block named "Karel Čapek" which turned out to be a giant robot.
  • At least two computer programming languages were named for Čapek:
    • KAREL is the programming language for FANUC robots.
    • Karel is a teaching tool, intended to introduce programming to beginners; students instruct a robot (also named Karel) how to perform various tasks.
  • In the computer game Red Faction there is a character named Dr. Capek, who is involved in experiments with nanotechnology.
  • The Japanese H-game R.U.R.U.R. uses "Čapek" as a term for a specific type of robot: biological machines made from flesh mixed in a vat with nanomachines.
  • There is a Dr Capek in Heinlein's DOUBLE STAR.
  • On the TV show Dollhouse, the parent corporation is named Rossum.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Karel Čapek" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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