Category WHAT IS & DIY & HOW TO


In our research, we found 3 broad approaches that scholars use to define robots. These are (1) as artificial humans, (2) programmable machines, and (3) machines that can sense, think, and act on the world. None of these approaches offers a definition that works for all of the ways we already use the word. But they’re a start.

Welcome to the Robotic Future, in which we explore the many fascinating machines that are transforming society. And we can’t do that without first defining what a robot even is.

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...

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