An Important technology for the Space Race, Robotics allows you to build the Spaceship Factory, a building which speeds the construction of Spaceship parts. It also allows you to build the Missile Cruiser, a Naval Unit capable of carrying 4 Missiles and spotting enemy Submarines.
While various forms of automatons and machines have been in evidence from as early as the first century A.D., the first fully autonomous machine didn't appear until the mid 20th century. Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov unknowingly coined the term "robotics" in his 1941 short story "Liar!," figuring that the word must already be in use since other ones like "electronics" were. The study of robotics covers all aspects of their electronic, mechanical, and software design, and the different ways in which they sense and interact with the world around them.
Simple industrial robots have been in use since the early 1960's, but more powerful and sophisticated ones are always in development. While definitely helpful in factories performing repetitive precision-driven tasks, robotics are being pushed to create life-like prosthetic limbs, humanoid-style robots walking upright, and robots capable of recognizing and producing humanesque gestures, emotions, and expressions.