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 Asimov's Robots

created by Isaac Asimov

A subsidiary or ancillary series to the Asimov's Future History series.

Precis

Asimov carefully considered the problem of the ideal set of instructions robots might be given in order to lower the risk to humans, and arrived at his Three Laws of Robotics:

  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 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
These were introduced in his 1942 short story "Runaround", although foreshadowed in a few earlier stories. Later, Asimov added the Zeroth Law
  1. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm
The rest of the laws are modified sequentially to acknowledge this.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first passage in Asimov's short story "Liar!" (1941) that mentions the First Law is the earliest recorded use of the word robotics. Asimov was not initially aware of this; he assumed the word already existed by analogy with mechanics, hydraulics, and other similar terms denoting branches of applied knowledge.

Titles in series

Main series

  1. The Complete Robot  (1982) [collection]
  2. Mother Earth  (1949) [novelette]
  3. The Caves of Steel  (1954)
  4. The Naked Sun  (1957)
  5. The Robots of Dawn  (1983)
  6. Robot Mystery  (series)
    1. Mirage  (2000)
    2. Chimera  (2001)
    3. Aurora  (2002)
    4. Have Robot Will Travel  (2004)
  7. Robots and Empire  (1985)
  8. Caliban Trilogy  (series)
    1. Isaac Asimov's Caliban  (1993)
    2. Isaac Asimov's Inferno  (1994)
    3. Isaac Asimov's Utopia  (1996)

Other Series

Other Stories

collection
essay
novelette
short story

Cover Images

Complete Robot
Caves of Steel
Naked Sun
Robots of Dawn
Robots and Empire
I, Robot
Rest of the Robots
Robot Visions
Odyssey
Suspicion
Cyborg
Prodigy
Refuge
Perihelion
Changeling
Renegade
Intruder
Alliance
Maverick
Humanity
Isaac Asimov
Predator
Marauder
Warrior
Isaac Asimov
Dictator
Emperor
Invader
Isaac Asimov
Mirage
Chimera
Aurora
Have Robot Will Travel