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What is a ROBOT?

I have seen this question asked and have not yet found a real answer or one that actually describe or defines what a robot is.

Here I am asking the infamous question "What is a Robot"

Can't wait to see what your thoughts are.

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Good points. You could be right that there is no real difference.  Nothing wrong with calling what I consider a robot a machine, since by definition it certainly is.

But in my mind, a robot is a specialized type of machine.  Something like a cement mixer is "just" a machine since it doesn't sense and interact with it environment.  Sure it has a button or switch to start it, but that button isn't something that allows it to sense and interact with its environment.  A robot by my definition has to be able to somehow sense and interact with its environment so your line follower robot to me is a robot since it senses the line it follows and then interacts with the environment by following it.  

I think there are machines that don't really fit nicely into my definition.  For instance, what about a 100' long printing press?  It moves paper through rollers, so technically fits my definition.  It senses and interacts with the environment, but I can't bring myself to call it a robot.  It is a machine.  

I forgot about robots building robots!  That is a good point.  How about change our definition a bit from above:

"A robot is a constructed device or machine that physically moves itself or other things, and can sense and interact with its environment.  Robot is also a subjective term that may be applied, or not as the case may be, to any number of machines that might or might not fit the above criteria."

 

 

 

What is the difference between a robot and a machine ?

A machine is something designed to perform a specific task over and over again.

A printer does that and it senses if you press a button. You cell phone does it and it feels your finger.

A line following robot (is it really one ?) does it. Mini Max does it.

But all of them do the same t: hey perform a task and react to the environment. Even an engine does it : if you stop the fuel flow it will stop. 

So do we really need the word robot ? Or is it only a word that everybody would connect to something like C3PO ?

So when you ask me what I connect to the word robot, I will answer C3PO, R2D2, Mini Max ...

But I come to the conclusion that a robot is 'just' a synonym for a machine.

Good questions you have there and lets see if they can all be answered.

What is the difference between a robot and a machine ?

A Robot is a Machine but a Machine is not a Robot. That would be like saying the pencil sharpener is a robot.

A machine is something designed to perform a specific task over and over again.

A Machine requires human intervention to continue to work.

A printer does that and it senses if you press a button. You cell phone does it and it feels your finger.

Once again they require human intervention to work, without you touching them they just sit there motionless.

A line following robot (is it really one ?) does it. Mini Max does it.

A Line following robot is a robot as it carries out a task without human intervention.

But all of them do the same t: hey perform a task and react to the environment. Even an engine does it : if you stop the fuel flow it will stop. 

A Engine is not a robot, while it does use a computer in some cases to control everything it still requires the input from you.

So do we really need the word robot ? Or is it only a word that everybody would connect to something like C3PO ?

C3PO was a Humanoid while R2D2 was a robot but those are both fictional characters.

I would not consider a pencil sharpener a machine. Also my line follower does need human intervention as the cement mixer (Bill's example and I think you would agree a machine) to start.

Machine Definition. an apparatus using or applying mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task.

So say a house it uses mechanical power as you open a window it has several parts each with a definite function and together it saves me from the rain. Is my house a machine ?

I wanted to say that what I mean by Human Intervention is to control it by using a remote or other device such as a smart phone, RF transmitter etc... The point of having to turn a robot on is not human intervention in my meaning.

So what is controlling ? If a device catches balls you control it in a way if you throw a ball, don't you ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDKXT1ZhEgA

Ok after discussing with Jeff a little here is my try : A machine that does not need any lifeform for it to run after started till it runs out of power, that senses it's environment computes this input due to certain rules (a program) and produces an output based on these rules which is of a physical form.

Hmm I'm not content with my definition : what about a machine that is designed to shake the hand of a human. It senses when a human reaches it's hand and the nperforms the handshake. Is that a robot ? It requires a human to fulfill it's task right ?