While it is obvious that artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are different disciplines, robots can perform without AI. However, robotics reaches the next level when AI enters this mix.
We will explain how these disciplines differ and explore spaces where AI is utilized to create envelope-pushing robotic technology.
Robotics in Brief
Robotics is a subset of engineering and computer science where machines are created to perform tasks without human intervention after programming.
This definition is broad, covering everything from a robot that aids in silicon chip manufacturing to the humanoid robots of science fiction, and are already being designed like the Asimo robot from Honda. In global finance, we’ve had robo-advisors working with us for some years already.
Robots have traditionally been used for tasks that humans are incapable of doing efficiently (moving an assembly line’s heavy parts), are repetitive, or are a combination. For example, robots can accomplish the same task thousands of times a day, whereas a human would be slower, get bored, make more mistakes, or be physically unable to complete it.
Robotics and AI
Sometimes these terms are incorrectly used interchangeably, but AI and robotics are very different. In AI, systems mimic the human mind to learn through training to solve problems and make decisions autonomously without needing specific programming (if A, then B).
As we have stated, robots are machines programmed to conduct particular tasks. Generally, most robotics tasks do not require AI, as they are repetitive and predictable and not needing decision-making.
Robotics and AI can, however, coexist. Robotic projects that use AI are in the minority, but such systems are becoming more common and will enhance robotics as AI systems grow in sophistication.
Amazon is testing the newest example of a household robot called Astro. It is a self-driving Echo Show. The robot uses AI to navigate a space autonomously, acting as an observer (using microphones and a periscopic camera) when the owner is not present.
This type of robot is not novel; robotic vacuums have been in our homes, navigating around furniture, for almost a decade. But even these devices are becoming “smarter” with improved AI.
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