What Is a Robot?

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The word “robot” has its roots in science fiction, where the robot is viewed as an adversary, whereas the human is the robot’s friend. The word is derived from a play by Karl Capek in 1921, “R.U.R.,” which means “Rossum’s Universal Robots.” It tells the story of a future war between robots and humans. While the play was more political than technological, its idea of the enemy has been reaffirmed throughout the years through popular science fiction.

A robot’s design begins with the type of job it needs to perform. It must account for speed and the environment where it will operate. It also must take into account any hazardous materials and human involvement in the process. It must also take into account the controller’s ability. Ultimately, the design of a robot is only as good as the people who will use it. Consequently, the design must be carefully considered, including the training of the workers who will be using the robot.

While the definition of a robot is relatively broad, it should include IT systems that understand and sense the environment. This includes pre-programmed Twitterbots and IPSoft’s artificial intelligence system, Amelia. These systems perform rule-based work and are typically highly configurable. They have basic features such as authentication, security, auditing, logging, and exception handling. This means that the robot is designed to perform a specific task in a particular environment.

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