A clay golem and an iron golem

A golem is a form of anthropomorphic entity made up entirely of inanimate matter. Historically, these magical constructs originate from ancient Jewish folklore and were made for the purpose of serving human masters. Adopted by mainstream European society in the early 20th century, the concept of golems has been adapted for various pieces of fantasy fiction as well as films and even games.

Popular examples of golems include the various golem types from the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons, the monster created by Viktor Frankenstein and even homunculi. While they might not be made up of advanced circuitry and mechanics, golems are manufactured in order to follow the orders of a master or to fulfill a specific function or duty, and thus can still be regarded as robots in that sense. In fact, golems are probably the earliest historical concept of robots.