Where can I find information about robots?

Entry last updated: 13/01/21


Robots are machines built to help people. The word 'robot' comes from the Czech word robata which means forced labour. When most people imagine a robot they think of something that looks and acts like a human but most robots look nothing like a person. They also only act in the way in which they have been programmed to do so.

What are robots?

Robots are useful machines that can be programmed to help humans do repetitive, difficult, and/or dangerous work.

Britannica School

This is one of the EPIC resources. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

  • Select your learning level - Primary, Middle, or Secondary (you can always change this later).
  • Type 'robots' into the search area and select the magnifying glass.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.


This is another site with some interesting information about robots.

  • Type 'robots' into the search area
  • Explore the articles that best match the information you are looking for.
Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.

How robots work

Robots work in different ways. Some robots can do work by themselves, while others must have a person telling them what to do.

Explain that Stuff

Explain that Stuff has information about how robots experience the world around them through something similar to our own senses of vision, hearing, smell, touch, and taste.

  • Enter robots into the search area.
  • Although the search takes you to Google, it only searches the site.
  • Select the article called How do robots work?
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on this website. This can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Uses of robots

Robots are used in a variety of ways. They are used to do repetitive tasks and jobs that are too dangerous for humans to complete. Robots are used to complete tasks because it is often cheaper, easier and safer.

New Zealand Geographic

New Zealand Geographic has an article about robots being used in rest homes to help the elderly.

Science Learning Hub

This website is a New Zealand science resource organised by topics and concepts.

  • Enter 'robots' into the search area.
  • This site has articles and videos about a range of different uses for robots such as horticulture, milking, and drones.

Making robots

Robots are all around us and are used in many ways in our everyday lives. Some robots are simple and others are more complex. It is possible for you to make your own robot. The science of making robots is called Robotics.

Often a resource that you have used for one part of a topic can be used again for another. Wonderopolis also has articles about building robots.

  • Enter 'robots' into the search area but this time look for information specifically about building robots.


There are many books that have been written about robots - check out your local public or school library to see what they have!

Here are some recommended titles:

SCIS no: 1870182

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