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Is Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Same?

Added: (Wed Dec 05 2018)

Pressbox (Press Release) - There is a lot of confusion about robotics and artificial intelligence. Are robotics and artificial intelligence the same thing? Is robotics a part of AI? OR AI a part of robotics? How are these two inter-related? What is the difference between these two terms? If you are wondering about this question, and want to clear your doubts, you are at the right place.

In this article, I am going to answer this fundamental question.

Robotics and artificial intelligence serve a very different purpose. However, people often take artificial intelligence and robotics as a misnomer. People often mix them up. A lot of people think that robotics is a subset of artificial intelligence or they are on and the same thing.

Let’s dive deep into it:

Are AI and robotics the same thing?

NO. First of all artificial intelligence and robotics are not the same thing at all. The two fields are entirely separate. You can get a clear picture of AI and robotics from the Venn diagram below.

People are confused about the two terms because of the overlap between the two: artificial intelligent robots. Let us have a look at bot the terms one by one.

What is Robotics?

Robotics is a branch of technology which deals with robots. Robots are programmable machines which are able to carry out a series of actions autonomously or semi-autonomously.

There are primarily three important characteristics that comprise a robot:

#1. Robots are programmable and can be programmed to perform any task.

#2. Robots interact with the physical world with the help of sensors and actuators.

#3. Robots are autonomous (can work without human intervention) or semi-autonomous.

But, all the robots are generally autonomous. I said “generally” autonomous because some robots are not autonomous. For example, telerobots are entirely controlled by a human operator but telerobotics is still considered as a branch of robotics. This is the type of example where the definition of robotics is not very clear.

To a great surprise, it is difficult for the experts to agree on what exactly constitutes a “robot”. Some say that a robot must be able to think and make decisions. But, there is no standard definition of “thinking robot” as well. The condition of robots to be able to think indicates that it has some level of artificial intelligence.

So, we can define robotics as a technology that involves building designing and programming the physical robots. Only a small portion of it involves artificial intelligence.

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, is a branch of computer science that deals with developing computer programs to carry out the tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence. Artificial intelligence machines following characterstics: perception, speech processing, image processing, problem-solving, decision making, reasoning etc.

Artificial intelligence is being used in many ways today. AI algorithms are used for building virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon recommendation system, Tesla’s Self Driving cars etc. Most of the programs are not used to control robots.

Even though AI is used to control robots, AI is only a part of a big robotics system which involves sensors, actuators and another programming not involving AI.

Generally, AI involves some level of machine learning, but not always. Machine learning algorithms are used to respond to a particular input in a certain way by using the predefined input and outputs.

The main difference that differentiates AI from other machine learning programming is the “intelligence”. All non-AI-programming involves carrying out a predefined sequence of instructions to reach the outcome.

But, AI applications simulates some level of human intelligence.

What are artificial intelligent Robots?

Artificial intelligent robots act as a bridge between the AI and robotics. These robots are controlled by artificial intelligence programs. There are a whole lot of robots that are not artificially intelligent. Generally, we have seen robots that can only be programmed to perform a repetitive series of movements. But, as we have discussed, repetitive movements do not require artificial intelligence.

Following examples will help you to make things clear:

Example 1 – Non artificially intelligent robot.

A collaborative robot (cobot) is the perfect example of a non-intelligent robot.

For example, you can program a robot to perform repetitive tasks like pick up an object and place it elsewhere. The robot will continue to pick and place objects continuously until you turn it off. This is an autonomous function as the robot does not require human involvement after it has been programmed. Also, the program does not require any human intelligence also.

Example 2 – Artificially intelligent Robotics

Artificial intelligence can be used to extend the capabilities of robots. Think of a situation where you want to add a camera to your robot. Robot vision comes under the category of “perception” and requires AI algorithms.

For example, you wanted a robot that can detect the object it was picking and place it in a different location based on the type of object. This can be done with the help of computer vision and image processing technology.


Robotics and artificial intelligence are two separate things. Robotics involves building robots while AI involves programming intelligence. Only a part of artificial intelligence is used in robotics to create artificially intelligent robots. visit us for more information: https://www.webtunix.com/.

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