I recently was having a discussion with someone and we both agreed that if something is driven around with a remote control, it isn't a robot. The consensus was that it has to be autonomous, but after thing about the matter further, I'm not so sure.
Usually in this type of situation I consult Wikipedia, like a good little nerd, however their entry isn't much help... it just confirms that this is an area of controversy.
Wikipedia lists the following as potential properties for defining a robot:
- Is not 'natural' i.e. artificially created
- Can sense its environment, and manipulate or interact with things in it
- Has some degree of intelligence or ability to make choices based on the environment, often using automatic control or a preprogrammed sequence
- Is programmable (see: arduino)
- Moves with one or more axes of rotation or translation
- Makes dexterous coordinated movements
- Appears to have intent or agency (See anthropomorphism for examples of ascribing intent to inanimate objects.)