What is a robot designed to resemble a human called?
An android is a robot or other artificial being designed to resemble a human, and often made from a flesh-like material. Historically, androids were completely within the domain of science fiction and frequently seen in film and television, but recent advances in robot technology now allow the design of functional and realistic humanoid robots.
The word was coined from the Greek root andr- "man, male" and the suffix -oid "having the form or likeness of". While the term "android" is used in reference to human-looking robots in general, a robot with a female appearance can also be referred to as a "gynoid".
The term "android" appears in US patents as early as 1863 in reference to miniature human-like toy automatons.
Several projects aiming to create androids that look, and, to a certain degree, speak or act like a human being have been launched or are underway. Japanese robotics have been leading the field since the 1970s. Waseda University initiated the WABOT project in 1967, and in 1972 completed the WABOT-1, the first android, a full-scale humanoid intelligent robot.