What's in a bot?

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.)
However, you can make strong arguments against several of these points... so I wonder: How do you define a robot?

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