Exploring Robotics: Essential Guide for AI Beginners

In the rapidly evolving world of technology, robotics stands out as one of the most fascinating and progressive areas. Combining advances in artificial intelligence (AI) with mechanical and electronic engineering, robotics creates machines that not only perform tasks but also interact and respond to their environment in increasingly sophisticated ways. In this article, we will explore what robotics is, the different types of robots, their applications, and the benefits they bring to various sectors of society.

What is Robotics?

Definition and Origin

Robotics is a branch of technology that involves the design, construction, operation, and use of robots. The word “robot” was first used by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his 1920 play, “R.U.R.” (“Rossum’s Universal Robots”), and since then, the field of robotics has evolved tremendously.

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

While robotics primarily deals with physical and mechanical aspects, AI is the brain behind the operation of robots. Together, they create systems capable of learning, adapting, and making independent decisions.

What is a robot?

A robot is a machine that can perform actions autonomously or be controlled by an operator. A robot typically has a mechanical body, a sensor system, an actuator system, and a control system. The mechanical body is the physical part of the robot, which can have different shapes and sizes, depending on its function. The sensor system is the part that allows the robot to perceive its environment, such as cameras, microphones, touch sensors, distance sensors, etc. The actuator system is the part that allows the robot to move and manipulate objects, like motors, wheels, arms, claws, etc. The control system is the part that coordinates the robot’s actions, based on sensor information and operator commands. The control system can be a computer, a microcontroller, a smartphone, or another device.

What are the types of robots?

There are many types of robots, which can be classified according to different criteria, such as their shape, function, degree of autonomy, mode of operation, etc. Some examples of robot types are:

  • Industrial robots: These are robots used to perform repetitive, precise, and dangerous tasks in factories, such as welding, assembly, and painting. They usually have a fixed body and an articulated arm and are controlled by a central computer.
  • Domestic robots: These are robots used to perform household tasks, like cleaning, vacuuming, or ironing. They typically have a mobile body and a set of sensors, and are controlled by a smartphone or a remote control.
  • Social robots: These are robots used to interact with people for companionship, entertainment, education, etc. They usually have a humanoid or animal body and a system for voice, face, and emotion recognition, and are controlled by AI or a human operator.
  • Autonomous robots: These are robots capable of moving and making decisions on their own, without human operator intervention. They usually have a body adapted to the environment, and a system for navigation, planning, and learning, and are controlled by advanced AI. They can be designed for challenging environments, such as space exploration or rescue operations.
Robótica e IA

What are the Applications and Benefits of Robotics?

Robotics has various applications and benefits in many sectors and areas of society, such as:

  • Automation: Robotics allows the automation of processes and tasks that would be costly, time-consuming, or dangerous for humans, such as industrial production, mining, agriculture, and transportation. This increases the efficiency, quality, and safety of products and services, and reduces the costs and risks involved. Robots can work continuously without the need for breaks, and with consistent precision.
  • Education: Robotics enables the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts in a playful and interactive manner, such as programming, electronics, physics, and geometry. This stimulates logical reasoning, creativity, and collaboration among students, and prepares them for the future. Educational robots, like LEGO robotics kits, make learning more fun.
  • Entertainment and Leisure: Robotics allows the creation and enjoyment of fun and immersive experiences, such as games, movies, shows, toys, etc. This provides leisure, fun, and excitement for people, and stimulates imagination and artistic expression.
  • Health and Medicine: Robotics helps improve and save human lives, such as surgeries, rehabilitation, prosthetics, care, etc. This increases the precision, speed, and effectiveness of treatments and diagnoses, and reduces medical errors and complications. Surgical robots, like the Da Vinci system, enable minimally invasive and precise procedures. Rehabilitation robots assist in the recovery of patients with injuries.
  • Exploration and Research: Robotics enables complex experiments and allows the exploration and discovery of places and phenomena that would be inaccessible or unknown to humans, such as space, the deep sea, volcanoes, ruins, etc. This expands human knowledge, curiosity, and adventure, and contributes to the advancement of science and culture.

What are Some Examples of Famous Robots?

There are many famous robots that stand out for their features, achievements, or popularity, such as:

  • Asimo: A humanoid robot created by Honda that can walk, run, climb stairs, recognize voices and gestures, and interact with people. It is considered one of the most advanced robots in the world and is used for educational and research purposes.
  • Sophia: A humanoid robot created by Hanson Robotics, which looks and acts like a human woman. She can converse, express emotions, make jokes, and even obtained citizenship in Saudi Arabia. She is one of the most famous and controversial robots in the world and is used for entertainment and promotional purposes.
  • Boston Dynamics: A company that creates animal-inspired robots like dogs, cats, horses, birds, etc. They can move, jump, run, carry objects, and even dance. They are considered the most agile and impressive robots in the world and are used for military, industrial, and research purposes.
  • Curiosity Rover: A NASA robot exploring Mars since 2012. It has significantly contributed to our understanding of the Red Planet by conducting geological and atmospheric experiments.
  • Pepper: A humanoid robot developed by SoftBank Robotics, known for its ability to read and respond to human emotions. Pepper is used in customer service environments like stores and hotels.
  • Robonaut 2 (R2): Developed by NASA and General Motors, this humanoid robot is designed to operate in hazardous or inaccessible environments for humans, including space missions.
  • KUKA Robotics: Famous for their high-precision industrial robots used in manufacturing and automation. KUKA is a leading brand in the industrial robotics sector.
  • AIBO: A dog-shaped robot developed by Sony. AIBO is an example of an entertainment and companionship robot, using AI to intelligently interact with its environment and owners.
  • Nao: Another humanoid robot from SoftBank Robotics, widely used in education and research. The Nao robot is known for its flexible programmability and social interaction.
  • Atlas: Developed by Boston Dynamics, this humanoid robot is designed for a variety of search and rescue tasks, capable of navigating difficult terrain and performing complex maneuvers.
  • Skydio Drones: Although not traditional robots, Skydio’s drones use advanced AI technologies for autonomous navigation, representing a fascinating example of robotics applied in unmanned aerial vehicles.


Robotics is a field that combines artificial intelligence with engineering to create machines that can move and interact with the environment. Robotics has various types, applications, and benefits in many sectors and areas of society, such as automation, education, entertainment, health, exploration, etc. There are also many famous robots, known for their features, achievements, or popularity, such as Asimo, Sophia, Boston Dynamics, and others. Robotics is a field that is constantly evolving and innovating, promising to transform the world and people’s lives.