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ROBOTS




 

(Updated on 09/10/2013)

 

LISTENING :

  • Robot Explores Fukushima Reactor - Text + Audio - 21 July 2017
    "A robot, nicknamed 'The Little Sunfish,' has explored part of Fukushima's Unit 3 reactor.
    It took images of damage that had not been previously seen, but showed no sign of the nuclear fuel researchers hope to find.
    In previous tests, robots became stuck inside two of the plant's other reactors."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

  • Are You Standing in Line to Buy a Hatchimal - Text + Audio + Video - 12 December 2016
    "Do you know what a Hatchimal is? If you do not, you probably will soon.
    Hatchimals are said to be one of the most popular holiday gifts for children in the United States this year."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

 

  • Robot Can Help With Farm Work - Text + Audio - 6 November 2016
    "Technology advances are helping farmers watch and grow crops on their land.
    Researchers in the American state of Idaho developed a robot that uses radio frequency devices that can determine
    how much chemical treatment each plant needs."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

  • Humans Increasingly Losing Jobs to Robots - Text + Audio - 4 September 2016
    "Millions of jobs are threatened; workers go back to school to learn new skills."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

  • Artificial Intelligence: Helpful and Dangerous - Text + Audio - 22 May 2016
    "Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence and thinking demonstrated by computers and other machines.
    Scientists say artificial intelligence will continue to change our way of life, and the way people do business.
    While AI can be helpful, scientists warn it can also be a threat."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

 

  • Water Robots Explore the Celtic Sea - Text + Audio - 11 October 2015
    "Scientists in England are using water robots to explore animal and plant life in the Celtic Sea.
    The Celtic Sea is a body of water off the southern coast of Ireland. The area is known for its exceptional sea life."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • Robots Ready to Work in Restaurants - Text + Audio + Video - 28 June 2015
    "For many years, machines have been doing work that people once did, including some difficult jobs.
    Search and rescue operations employ high technology robots.
    But there is another area that may soon take jobs traditionally held by human beings: the restaurant industry."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • Robot Security Could Help Cut Crime - Text + Audio + Video - 11 June 2015
    "Shopping centers, stadiums and universities may soon have a new tool to help fight crime.
    A California company called Knightscope says its robots can predict and prevent crime.
    Knightscope says the goal is to reduce crime by half in the areas where the robots patrol."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • Damaged Robots Learn to Make Changes to Keep Working - Text + Audio - 9 June 2015
    "When a dog loses a leg, the animal eventually figures out the best way to get around on three legs.
    In a short time, the dog learns deal with its physical disability. Now, scientists have developed robots that behave in much the same way.
    They learn to find a way to deal with the damage."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • Robot Helps Heal Human Muscle Damage - Text + Audio + Video - 9 April 2015
    "A Polish company has developed a robot that helps therapists.
    The robot tells therapists about their patients progress and can choose the best exercises to help rehabilitate people with injuries that affect movement.
    Egzotech expects to have other robots ready for sale later this year."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • Robot Scientist Helps Design New Drugs - Text + Audio + Video - 1 April 2015
    "Robots are common in today’s world.
    They manufacture cars, work in space, explore oceans, clean up oil spills and investigate dangerous environments.
    And now, scientists at the University of Manchester are using a robot as a laboratory partner."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • Robots to Make iPads and iPhones - Article + Audio - 11 March 2015
    "A major manufacturing company employs millions of people in China to make iPads and iPhones.
    Now, the company plans to replace many workers with robots.
    Both economists and labor rights groups are welcoming the move.
    They say it will save the company money and ease workplace disputes."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • Robot Finds Unexploded Underwater Mines - Article + Audio + Video - 10 January 2015
    "Many teachers believe that “hands-on” experience is the best way to learn. A group of students in the U.S. is putting that belief to the test.
    The students are with the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.
    They successfully designed and built a robot to find underwater mines."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • Robots Go To Work for Dentists and Patients - Text + Audio + Video
    "For years, robots have helped doctors perform operations with greater safety, speed and exactness than by using hand-controlled instruments.
    Now, one such machine reduces the time it takes to make dental crowns. This procedure can repair a damaged tooth in just about two hours."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • Tiny Robots Learn to Work Together - Text + Audio
    "The Kilobots can only make simple shapes like a sea star or the letter K that are first drawn on a computer. Robot swarms are already in use.
    The online store Amazon uses robots to move items in its huge storage buildings.
    And groups of robots search the oceans collecting information."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

 

  • Move over World Cup, Time for RoboCup - Text + Audio
    "A major football event will happen in the South American country later this month, but with teams of robots playing the game.
    The robot teams are guided by teams of humans from around the world. The event is known as RoboCup."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

 

 

 

 

INTERACTIVE ACTIVITIES :

  • My Robot's skills - Revise how to express ability in English (absolutenglish-972)

 

  • The Ultimate Robots Picture Quiz - interactive
    "Write the name of the film in the box beneath the image and wait for the tick (or the cross)."

    (empireonline.com)

 

 

  • ESL Video Quiz: Reuters video: Robot sings, dances and helps with homework (eslvideo.com)
    "Meet the upgraded NAO (pronounced: 'Now') robot, created by French company Aldebaran Robotics."

 

  • Car Factory Robots : a video + a quiz
    "English Level: Intermediate -
    "A report about a factory that makes cars using hundreds of robots. There are even robots that check the work of the other robots! Amazing!"

    (eslradioandtv.com)

 

ACTIVITIES TO PRINT :

 

  • Robot Mothers - "Do families need robots? Could a robot be a mother?"
    (elcivics.com)

 

 

LESSON PLANS :

  • New device can smell bombs and diseases (August 30, 2017) - a lesson plan with AUDIO
    "A Nigerian engineer and neuroscientist has created a revolutionary new computer that has artificial intelligence (AI)."

    Try the same news story at these easier levels: Biotechnology - Level 0Biotechnology - Level 1  or  Biotechnology - Level 2
    Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities,
    crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)

    (breakingnewsenglish.com)

 

 

  • New gym opens to train robots (May 01, 2016) - a lesson plan with AUDIO
    "A group of business people has opened a kind of gym for robots.
    The group is headed by Elon Musk, who is the boss of the electric car company Tesla Motors."
    (breakingnewsenglish.com)
  • Famous scientist says A.I. could destroy us (December 09, 2014) - a lesson with AUDIO
    "Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the world's most renowned scientists, has warned that robots and machines with artificial intelligence could one day mean the end of us all."

    (breakingnewsenglish.com)
  • Japanese show robot news readers (June 28, 2014) - a lesson plan with audio
    "Japanese scientists have created the world's first news-reading robots. They really look and act like human beings."

    (breakingnewsenglish.com)

Japan has unveiled android ‘news readers’ and they’re extremely creepy - 28 June, 2014 
(dailyedge.ie)

 

  • Robots smarter than humans by 2029 (February 26, 2014) - a lesson plan with AUDIO
    "A scientist said robots will be more intelligent than humans by 2029.
    The scientist's name is Ray Kurzweil. He works for Google as Director of Engineering."

    (breakingnewsenglish.com)
  • I-DIOTS - a lesson plan
    "This EFL lesson plan is designed around a short film called iDiots by special effects company BLR_VFX and the themes of technology, mass consumption and instant gratification. Students speak about mobile phones and technology, watch a short film and do a dictation."

    (film-english.com)

 

  • Robots - a lesson plan 
    Theme: Domestic robots
    Lexical area: Household chores
    Cross curricular links: Science

    (British Council)

 

 

  • BLINKY
    "This EFL lesson is designed around a short film by Ruairí Robinson called Blinky and the theme of robots and technology. Students talk about robots and technology, and watch a short film and a TV commercial. Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Advanced (C1) Learner..."

    (film-english.com)

 

  • I, Robot: Future - Will - a lesson
    "This segment provides you with an excellent opportunity to have students practice "will" to talk about the future. Here you can integrate listening, speaking and grammar in a contextualized manner. Besides, the segment is so gripping, full of food for thought and conversation!"

    (moviesegmentstoassessgrammargoals.blogspot.fr)

 

  • ROBOTS - a lesson plan
    "Students will understand the following: Robots can help disabled human beings."

    (discoveryeducation.com)
  • ROBOT-COMEDY
    "The theme of this lesson is comedy and robotics. Students watch Heather Knight of Marilyn Monrobot Labs giving a talk and demonstration of how a robot can be used to perform stand-up comedy. After watching the video, ..." 

    (linguahouse.com)

 

 

 

WEBQUESTS :

  • Robots in Society (zunal.com)
    "Robots in Society WebQuest explores the history of robots and their technological advancement over the decades. This WebQuest also involves the weekly use of Lego Mindstorms NXT Robots, culminating in a Robotics Symposium to the theme: Mission Impossible, where students are set specific challenges to complete."
    (zunal.com)

 

 

CONVERSATION QUESTIONS :

  • Can machines keep us safe from cyber-attack? - 2 August 2016
    "After robot cars and robot rescue workers, US research agency Darpa is turning its attention to robot hackers."

    (BBC)


    Darpa ran a challenge to get engineers working on robots
    that could find their own way around disaster zones

    Security systems use machine learning
    to keep an eye on network traffic

 

  • The dangers of trusting robots - Article + Photos - 12 August 2015
    "As robots enter our home, they may steal secrets about your life that you don't want to share, argue two experts in robotics law and the philosophy of technology."

    (BBC)

  •  Intelligent machines: Will we accept robot revolution? - 7 October 2015
    "Would you share your home with a robot or work side by side with one? People are starting to do both, which has put the relationship we have with them under the spotlight and exposed both our love and fear of the machines that are increasingly becoming a crucial part of our lives."
    + Cute robots
    + Gender worries
    + Fictional robots
    (BBC)


    "Who is most at risk: the humans or the machines?"

  • Why the 'cute robots' don't work for Rodney Brooks - Article + Photos + Video - 17 November 2015
    "Rodney Brooks is a roboticist who despises cute, seal pup-eyed "companion robots".

    (BBC)

  • How safe can artificial intelligence be? - Friend or foe? - 15 September 2015
    "If Hollywood movies are your only guide to Artificial Intelligence, we face a terrifying future in which machines become so clever that they dominate or even destroy us."

    (BBC)

  • 'Killer robots': Are they really inevitable? - 21 May 2014
    "The robot tank is moving rapidly through the scrub on its caterpillar tracks.
    It comes to a sudden halt and its machine gun opens fire with devastating accuracy."

    (BBC)

 

 

 

STORIES :

  • Mean Bouncy Robot bedtime story
    "Mean Bouncy Robot didn’t have a lot of friends. The main reason for him not having many friends was that he really liked to hit other robots..."

    (puzzlingposts.com)
  • My Robot Robbi
    "Have you ever seen a robot? No? Meet my robot friend and philosopher, Robbi. To be precise, its name is Robbi-999XHA..."

    (pitara.com)

 

  • Do Robots Eat Raisins?
    "This is a story about a little boy called Marvin and his toy robot called Rhys..."

    (bibliofaction.com)
  • The Adventures of Eric the Robot
    "Jim has a hobby as a young inventor and builds himself a robot who spends a day at school for him whilst he is ill..."

    (writing.wikinut.com)

 

 

 

COMICS / COMIC STRIPS / CARTOONS :

 

 

  • Marvel Comics "adapted Dick's short story "The Electric Ant" as a limited series which was released in 2009..."
    "Garson Poole wakes up after a flying-car-crash to find that he has lost a hand. He then finds out that he is in fact an 'electric ant' - an organic 
    robot
    . He further finds out that what he believes is his subjective reality is in fact being fed from a micro-punched tape in his chest cavity. 
    He experiments on this tape by adding new holes, which adds things to his reality..."

    (Wikipedia)

 

 

 

LITERATURE :

 

 

  • The Three Laws of Robotics "(often shortened to The Three Laws or Three Laws) are a set of rules devised by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov. (Wikipedia)

    The rules were introduced in his 1942 short story "Runaround", although they had been foreshadowed in a few earlier stories. The Three Laws are:

    1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

 

 

SONGS :