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The Differences Between Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

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Philip Hatten
Philip Hatten
Philip Hatten has a bachelor's degree in history from Chapman University, where she specialized in 20th century gender history. He also served as Editor-in-Chief of his university's newspaper.

The Main Differences Between Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics science are two fields that are connected but not the same. In this article, differences between robotics and AI will be clarified, as well as look at some ways AI is being applied in cutting-edge robotic technology.

Mankind has been making tools since the primitive ages in nature. This occupation is a feature that distinguishes it from other living things. At the same time, the effort was beneficial to his physical development at first—leading to farming, then commerce, and the division of labor. This division of labor revealed all the developments that gave rise to the science of economics. Tools have shortened the time that man spends to meet his basic needs and enable him to turn to other purposes. All these achievements were important factors that enabled culture, science, and technology to exist.

With the emergence of the craftsman class specializing in tool making, tools became more perfect, and this process brought about the industrial revolution in the 18th century. There has been an influx of people into the cities, and industrial products that will meet the daily needs of more and more people more cheaply have been produced in factories equipped with advanced tools.

Mass transportation, communication and information network, housing that provides a high standard of living, that is, scientific and technological developments that emerged in the cities and which we describe as the components of contemporary life today, have been thanks to the emergence and slow development of the adventure that started with tool making.

Robotics, on the other hand, is the current modern version of the tool-making process that began in ancient times. It is estimated that robots will replace many jobs in the future with robotic technology, which has shown great development in recent years, and that approximately 30% of all occupations may become dysfunctional. Undoubtedly, AI has a great role in this. But it would be wrong to say that all robots are AI. Many people think that artificial intelligence and robots mean the same thing, but this is not true. Currently, most of the robots on the market do not even use any artificial intelligence algorithms. However, when combined, we might think that AI behaves like a brain and enables robots to walk, see, talk, smell, and more based on past data and experiences they have learned.

In universities, robotics is usually within the faculty of electrical or mechanical engineering, while AI is mostly within the faculty of computer science. As it can be understood from here, robotics mostly requires mechanical knowledge, while artificial intelligence requires software and algorithm knowledge.

Let’s take a look at these two areas separately to show their differences.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial intelligence is a concept that refers to machines and computer programs that can act intelligently or in a way that can be called intelligent in the face of situations they encounter and interact with their environment by taking action on the data they collect.

Humanity is experiencing an information explosion as a result of the solutions we have found to make our lives easier and more reliable. In the face of this information explosion, it is thought that we need intelligence that can think like a human but can achieve results very quickly by comparing too many combinations at the same time so that the world can rotate with the same efficiency and sustainability.

A concept that many corporate companies and startups focus on is called “artificial intelligence.” For example, it is an AI project to calculate a risk score that can give clues about possible frauds that may be experienced with some data mining methods. Another example is to model a predictive detection system product with a deep learning architecture, which is based on artificial intelligence techniques and can instantly detect situations that constantly change over time. AlphaGo is one of the most common examples of pure AI to be found in games. An AlphaGo that beat world champion Go player Lee Sedol in 2016 didn’t have any robotic elements, it was just a software product.

The debate over what intelligence is and isn’t seems to continue. Since human intelligence is the only type of intelligence we know of, we are currently trying to build machines that mimic it. But maybe in the future, we will start to know the intelligence of animals that are smarter than us in making decisions and we will start to produce machines that imitate their intelligence. In these subjects, in which we believe that there should be no limit to imagination, there is a very important challenge ahead of us right now, which is how computers and humans will come together to enrich human life.

What is the Science of Robotics?

The science of robotics is a branch of science that combines many engineering disciplines such as machinery, mechatronics, computers, software, control and automation, space and aviation, and electrical and electronics. Robots, on the other hand, are machines that are the field of interest in the science of robotics. A robot is a controlled mechanical manipulator equipped with at least one arm, holding devices (usually forceps, suction cups, or electromagnets), pneumatic, hydraulic or electrical sensors, position and pressure sensors, and information processing units on a base.

Robots are generally classified according to their usage areas. These are as follows:

  • Industrial Robots
  • Home Robots
  • Medical Robots
  • Service Robots
  • Entertainment Robots
  • Space Robots
  • Hobby and Competition Robots
  • Virtual Robots

Another type of classification is based on movement mechanics. These are as follows:

  • Fixed Robots
  • Mobile Robots
  • Tracked Robots
  • Legged Robots
  • Swimming Robots
  • Flying Robots
  • Snake Robots
  • Soft Robots
  • Spherical robot
  • Hybrid Robots
  • Swarm Robots
  • Micro and Nano Robots

The Main Differences Between Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

Where Do Robotics and  Artificial Intelligence?

Robots using artificial intelligence algorithms are the intersection of robotics science and artificial intelligence. As we said before, most robots on the market are not artificially intelligent. Most industrial robots are only programmed to perform a repetitive series of movements that do not require artificial intelligence. It does not contain any learning algorithms. They just run the given command. However, the functions of non-intelligent robots are quite limited. Artificial intelligence algorithms are necessary when you want to let the robot perform more complex tasks. They start to learn from experience or past data with artificial intelligence algorithms. The more powerful a computer and the more data manufacturers have, the smarter they can make a machine.

Example Applications:

Self-driving vehicles used in various fields from mining to transportation increase the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. These tools are integrated into various jobs for high efficiency and leverage the power of AI in complex tasks. Examples of these robots are Tesla cars and Amazon’s delivery/warehouse robots.

A storage robot can use an object recognition algorithm to find the appropriate product in the warehouse. A drone can use a deep learning-based autonomous navigation system to get home when its battery is nearly dead. A self-driving car could use an artificial intelligence algorithm to detect and avoid potential hazards on the road. These are all examples of robots with AI.


In conclusion, artificial intelligence and robotics are different technologies that add value to each other. It is necessary to know that the two are different fields and their combination will gradually lead to very serious advanced technologies in the future. People who produced simple tools in ancient times can now make machines that can learn thanks to artificial intelligence.

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