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automaton A mechanical machine or device that can function based on predetermined, computer-controlled behaviors. Some of these may resemble a person in shape, function or tasks. However, as a machine it would work in a mechanical way, often with no sign of emotion.
battery A device that can convert chemical energy into electrical energy.
colleague Someone who works with another; a co-worker or team member.
crop (in agriculture) A type of plant grown intentionally grown and nurtured by farmers, such as corn, coffee or tomatoes. Or the term could apply to the part of the plant harvested and sold by farmers.
drone A remote-controlled, pilotless aircraft or missile.
engineer A person who uses science to solve problems. As a verb, to engineer means to design a device, material or process that will solve some problem or unmet need.
environment The sum of all of the things that exist around some organism or the process and the condition those things create. Environment may refer to the weather and ecosystem in which some animal lives, or, perhaps, the temperature and humidity (or even the placement of components in some electronics system or product).
fertilizer Nitrogen, phosphorus and other plant nutrients added to soil, water or foliage to boost crop growth or to replenish nutrients that were lost earlier as they were used by plant roots or leaves.
forest An area of land covered mostly with trees and other woody plants.
fruit A seed-containing reproductive organ in a plant.
gravity The force that attracts anything with mass, or bulk, toward any other thing with mass. The more mass that something has, the greater its gravity.
monitor To test, sample or watch something, especially on a regular or ongoing basis.
network A group of interconnected people or things. (v.) The act of connecting with other people who work in a given area or do similar thing (such as artists, business leaders or medical-support groups), often by going to gatherings where such people would be expected, and then chatting them up. (n. networking)
orangutan One of the great apes (which also include gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos), this red-haired tree dweller shares 97 percent of its genes in common with humans. They can live for 60 years, with adults weighing 48 to 130 kilograms (105 to 286 pounds) depending on gender, age and health, with males being bigger. They have opposable thumbs (as humans do) and also opposable big toes, which aids in their gripping.
primate The order of mammals that includes humans, apes, monkeys and related animals (such as tarsiers, the Daubentonia and other lemurs).
robot A machine that can sense its environment, process information and respond with specific actions. Some robots can act without any human input, while others are guided by a human.
sensor A device that picks up information on physical or chemical conditions — such as temperature, barometric pressure, salinity, humidity, pH, light intensity or radiation — and stores or broadcasts that information. Scientists and engineers often rely on sensors to inform them of conditions that may change over time or that exist far from where a researcher can measure them directly.
sloth A slow moving, plant-eating mammal that lives in tropical rainforests in the Western Hemisphere. Most of these tree dwellers sleep all but four to nine hours a day.
solar cell A device that converts solar energy to electricity.
technology The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry — or the devices, processes and systems that result from those efforts.
tedious (n. tedium) An adjective for something that is disturbingly slow, boring, monotonous and/or repetitive.