The origin of the word robot comes from the Czech language in which its ancestor “robota” means forced labor.
The term robotics appeared in 1942 in the universally known cycle written by Isaac Asimov and entitled “The robots”.
Here’s a concise definition of what a robot can be:
“Programmable machine that mimics the actions of an intelligent creature.”
In the course of history we can distinguish 3 types of robots corresponding in some way to the evolution of this “species” created by Man.
The first type of machine that we can call robot corresponds to “Automata”. These are usually programmed in advance and allow repetitive actions to be performed.
The second type of robot corresponds to those which are equipped with sensors (in fact the senses of the robot). There are temperature, photoelectronic and ultrasonic sensors for example to avoid obstacles and / or follow a path. These sensors will allow the robot a relative adaptation to its environment in order to take into account random parameters which could not have been considered during their initial programming. These robots are therefore much more autonomous than PLCs but require a greater investment in design time and money.
Finally, the last type of existing robot corresponds to those having a so-called “artificial” intelligence and based on complex mathematical models such as neural networks. In addition to physical sensors like their predecessors, these robots can make much more complex decisions and also rely on learning from their mistakes as humans can. Of course, it will take a long time before the most “intelligent” robot is equal, both in its adaptability and in its decision-making, to humans.