With so many different kinds of robots, how do you define what one is? Some answers by the WIRED magazine
When you hear the word “robot,” the first thing that probably comes to mind is a silvery humanoid, à la The Day the Earth Stood Still or C-3PO (more golden, I guess, but still metallic). But there’s also the Roomba, and autonomous drones, and technically also self-driving cars. A robot can be a lot of things these days―and this is just the beginning of their proliferation.
With so many different kinds of robots, how do you define what one is? It’s a physical thing―engineers agree on that, at least. But ask three different roboticists to define a robot and you’ll get three different answers. This isn’t a trivial semantic conundrum: Thinking about what a robot really is has implications for how humanity deals with the unfolding robo-revolution.