Robot is such a broad term. I ponder the definition. The
first definition in a dictionary
states robots "sometimes resemble a human" although the
second definition does not. The third entry actually refers
to a type of person! I agree that it's hard to nail down
but perhaps we should try and hack out some new terms.
I have a strong belief that robots must be capable of some
kind of motion. A robotic assembly arm at a manufacturing
plant, though it can not change it's origin, it is capable
of swinging it's hand to and fro and arriving at some point
specified. To me a "robot" that doesn't move is a computer,
or if simple enough a sensor.
I submit for thought: SAR (Sound Activated
Robot)*. At first I thought this didn't qualify as a
robot, but when I looked up the definition, I realized it is
so lax that it technically does. But then by that definition
so could a computer. This lead me to question the difference
between a computer and robot.
We all know what computers are (I hope) although the lines
are blurring there as well. Computers, and PDAs (ex: palm
pilot), cell phones with operating systems. But what's the
difference between a computer that controls a factory
machine (let's say a cookie making factory that has a
computer controlled conveyor and stamping system), and a robot?
I guess this is an old discussion, much like what qualifies
as life but there must be something more definitive people
can agree on. More definitive than a definition that
includes the word "sometimes", anyway.
I sincerely believe that mobility is at least one major
point of defining a robot. I'll have to think some more on
it to decide what else differentiates a robot from a computer.
* Please Steven
Frye don't be offended. I know that is probably the
begining of a robot but I just use it as an example. No harm
intended. I have to laugh anyway becuase it's more than I've