I had an interesting discussion with a reader of TheConstructSim’s news recently. He was replying to my newsletter a few weeks previously, when I wrote around robots helping to hit Covid-19. 

I’ll leave the end the background information of the discussion and simply tell you the we arrived at a vital point that difference between us. “It depends on what you think about a robot,” the said, adding: “For me, a washing device is a robot.”

I did no agree. Just how would you feel if you to be hired to construct robots, and on the very first day at the lab, you discover that the actual robots you have actually to construct are washing machines?

So, that healthy conversation led me to find for the definition of a robot.

You are watching: Is a washing machine a robot

Dictionary.com’s interpretations of the robot encompass the following:

a machine that resembles a human and does mechanical, routine work on command.a person who acts and also responds in a mechanical, program manner, usually subject to another’s will; automaton.any machine or mechanical device that operates instantly with humanlike skill.

The above variations are broadly comparable to various other formal interpretations of what a robot is.

However, I’m not going come go v the officially definitions. I’m going come go v what I take into consideration to it is in the “human” definition. That is, what we as human beings feel, feeling or perceive together being a robot.

To me, robots are those machines that when we watch them, we determine them as robots. It is it – as simple as that. Yes, i know, my definition of what a robot is sucks. It sucks in the scholastic sense, yet it functions on the basis of typical sense.

For now, i’m going to leave out the discussion around the so-called “Uncanny valley phenomenon” – where some robots have actually an uncanny similarity to people – the end of this an easy definition, and also just concentrate on an easy human judgment.

We would never determine a washing maker in a movie together a robot. But we would determine R2D2, the Terminator, or Ex-Machina as a robot. Examples that we would determine as robots in real life: Sony’s Aibo robot dog, Anki’s Vector automobile robot, Boston Dynamics’ canines and also humanoids, iRobot’s Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, and so on.

But then, you might ask: Why is the Roomba an ext a robot 보다 a washing machine?

Okay, you desire some gray area? climate let’s include some gray area.

Let me define the level in which a device is a robot together the “robotness” (I fully invented that word) of the machine.

In my opinion, the robotness that a robot have the right to be perceived or computed together follows:

The much longer a robot can operate without having actually to switch it off and on again (resetting), the much more a robot that is.The easier it is to provide the job commands, the more a robot it is. The much less we need to use touch screens, buttons, switches, pads or any other fabricated tool to communicate with the robot, the much more a robot the is.The closer come un-adapted human environments the robot have the right to work, the much more a robot that is.

I still have actually to figure out the weight to every of the point out in order come compute the last robotness score, yet I think friend can gain the idea.

I’m usually judging ~ above the communication of how much autonomy the device has and how lot adaptation it has to us humans and our environment.

By the way, the R2D2 robot (main picture), very first seen in the Star Wars films, would certainly make a pretty cool feather washing machine.


About the author: Dr Ricardo Tellez is the CEO that The Construct, which offers online training in the Robot operation System. He has actually a doctor on man-made intelligence. He has actually seven years’ experience building software for ROS-based robots including humanoids. The is the writer of four books about ROS. He additionally teaches post-graduate master‘s level courses in ROS at the university of LaSalle in Barcelona, and also at the technological University that Catalonia.

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Editor’s note: The way tennis2007.org typically chooses subjects to write around is guided through the rule of “machines that relocate autonomously in 3D space”.

We likewise cover equipments that have complicated internal mechanisms that move according to computer “intelligence”, so to speak, within an enclosure the is in a fixed location and also takes increase a solved cubic area.

However, we tend to concentration on devices that move from one point to an additional – because that example, driverless cars; or have parts that move from one allude to another, in ~ the physical room which we contact our world – for example, commercial robotic arms. 

We do likewise cover software automation, such together robotic process automation, but the vast majority of our articles are around mechatronic equipment – people that integrate mechanisms such together gears and also wheels, and electronics that combine computing – which space designed to facilitate autonomous actuation or movement.