Robot Definition:

There are lots of definitions for Robots. Here on this page we will try to gather all the definitions for robots, and try to understand the mental and physical characteristics of machines which are defined as robots. 


Robot Definitions

Encyclopaedia Britannica's definition of robot is "any automatically operated machine. It may or may not resemble human beings in appearance"

Merriam-Webster defines a robot as "a "machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts" and  "mechanism guided by automatic controls".


ISO Organization's robot definition is "an automatically controlled, multipurpose, manipulator which has three or more axes and used in industrial automation applications."


CFP defines a robot as "The term robot describes a type of machine, which can Sense, Think & Act. For example when we look at a washing machine we don't call it a robot, but when we see a Humanoid we say this is a robot. So there is an evolution from machines to robots and the line between machines and robots sometimes is not clear.



Other Definitions 

  • Robotics is defined as "a branch of computer science which deals with the all the procedure involved in the process of building a robot from its design to its application". The constructing and operating of robots is done under the robotic technology. These robots are built to take on tasks which are hard and problematic for a human to perform.
  • An Industrial Robot is defined as "a jointed arm (multi-linked manipulator) and an end effector that is attached to a fixed surface."
  • A Mobile Robot is defined as "a robot which has the capability to move around in its environment and is not fixed to one physical location." Mobile robots are used in industry and military platforms. They also can be a product, for entertainment or to perform certain tasks as a toy. Universities usually have research labs that focus on mobile robot designs.And also some companies like Google are having their own research projects over mobile robots.
  • A Domestic Robot is defined as "a machine which is used for certain tasks (usually unwanted tasks) like cleaning, sweeping, vacuum cleaning at domestic areas".



Characteristics of a machine which is Defined as a Robot


In the contemporary world, millions of robots are working in the field of manufacturing, medical and most vitally in the space industry. But it is not easy to define a robot as they are also machines, and the difference between these two terms are sometimes not clear. So we will try to understand some characteristics of robots to define them better. Some of the most indispensable characteristics of  Robots are:


  • A robot should have the ability to move efficiently within its environment
  • A robot should perform a variation of task, from rolling on wheel to propelling to thrust.  
  • A Robot must have the knack of detecting and identifying its surrounding and for this purpose, different features and devices needs to be assimilated in the robot including pressure and touch sensors, light sensor, chemical sensor, sonar sensor etc.. In this way, the robot will be able to get maximum awareness, which will make the adoption of its environment suave.
  • The most significant and substantial feature among all the other is that, a robot must have intelligence.
  • The advanced robots of 21st century have the ability to function in such a manner as if they have brainpower, which is known as artificial intelligence (AI)
  • A machine's physical appearance is less important for Robotic Engineers to define it as a robot, than the way its actions are controlled.
  • The more the system has intelligence, the more likely the system is defined as a robot
  • An important feature of a robot is the ability to make choices. This is in contrast to a simple mechanical device such as a gear or a hydraulic press or any other item which has no processing ability and which does tasks through purely mechanical processes and motion.
  • an android is one major example of a robot, as it is cerebrally and cursorily resemble human beings.
  • Higher-level cognitive functions is better for a machine to be defined as robot.
  • On the other hand, a mechanical device that is able to perform some preset motions but is unable to think, is not considered a robot.