Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Abstract—This research will present about the robots with artificial intelligence and in which areas that AI have been used in the history for robotics. It will be discussed if the robots can have the capability of dominating humans, as they get better intelligence. The paper also includes the history of robot science, robots anatomy and working principles of the robots, robots with AI, and the future with today’s robotics technology.


In the decades following the Industrial Revolution, machines has become an important part of human life. Hand production methods transacted to machines, manufacturing processes is handled by machines. That led to the development of machine tools which includes operating machines autonomously. Robots are not just in manufacturing anymore, they have become to take part in many areas of human life. The strength of the robots, working precisely, durability and many features has made them popular. Throughout history, functionalities and capabilities of the robots are not increased remarkably until 20th century. Now AI techniques are being tried to make robots more complex, to make them more intelligent machines which do not need human assistance to finish their tasks. Progress in computer science and mechanics, robotics science has a rapid growth and it seems that it will continue.


The term “Robot” was firstly used in a play by Karel Capek named “Rossum’s Universal Robots” [2] in 1921. The story of the play is about human making robots and these robots are destroying the people. As usual in the human history, the dream world of the man has led the way and then real world followed it. Especially after the Industrial Revolution in the start of 19th century, with complex mechanics and electrics the robotics science started to appear and develop. In the early stages of robots, they are built to complete tasks in producing without any human assistance. M. Turing asked “Can machines think?” [6] in his paper in 1950. It is a common question if the machines can have intelligence, even if they would become as complex as our body. Thus, AI community is in doubt between recreating the human intelligence on the machine, and creating intelligence that is unique to the machine. There are many events in robotics history, but a summarized list of some main events can be seen at the table on Fig 1.


Fig. 1. Timeline of Robotics History


Even though the variety of the robots’ types and features may be myriad, they have basic similarities between their constructions. These similarities can be grouped into three categories as; – Mechanical Construction – Electric Circuit – Computer Programming Basically a robot consists of these three parts. Complexity and numerous types of every component in these parts, gives us an infinite possibilities of combustion to build a robot.

A. Mechanical Construction

Mechanical construction provides physical movement to robots which includes a moveable body and a sensory system. According to the type of the robot which is building may need many different mechanical components. For example for building a space robot, that is needed a physical body that can resist high pressure and heat changings, or it is needed small robotic arms if you build a scientific robot to work on experiments with precisely.

B. Electric Circuit

Electric circuit is responsible connection between mechanical components that need electric. It consists of an actuator, a power source and a sensor system. These components may be electrical stuff which designed for a special tasks, microcontrollers, lcd displays, camera systems etc.

C. Computer Programming

A robot is just a motor and electric circuit, if there is nothing there to manage these physical components. This is handled by embedded software that installed into the robot. Robot software is used to perform tasks and automate tasks. There are many software systems and frameworks that can be used for programming robots. Artificial intelligence techniques are used in the software that will be installed to the robot. These include some basic methods like probabilistic inference, planning and search, localization, tracking and control etc. When it comes to robots, there may appear some other problems rather than programming a computer using AI. A computer compares info with the stored data decides about the situation, but a robot gathers facts about a situation through sensors and human point, which makes a robot to analyze the data and decide about it more complex. Some robots have the ability of learning and interacting socially. Not good as a human but robots can absorb the data and get information about the interaction. Techniques of AI are keep developing, also programming these techniques to the robots will come afterwards.


There are lots of different fields and tasks that robots are used in, so it will be better to categorize them by application. The robot types which will be discussed:

  • Medical Robots
  • Space Robots
  • Industrial Robots
  • Military Robots
  • Service Robots
  • Entertainment Robots

Each group works on different domains, although the theories of artificial intelligence may be common, domains may have different appliances.

A. Medical Robots

Usage of artificial intelligence in Medicine has increased in the most a few years. Primarily concerned subject is to construct robots which can perform diagnosis and make therapy recommendations. There are smart robots that can diagnose the illnesses, or talented robots can join the surgeries and they can even get injected into human body and collect data about the health and condition of the body. Technological advancements led the medical robotic systems to be used in many application areas in medicine.

There are some types of medical robots also, including Surgical Robot, Rehabilitation Robotics, Telemedicine, Assistive Robots, Orthotics, Prosthetics, Radio Surgery, Exoskeleton etc. Medical robots are generally used for helping doctors especially during the surgeries. Also robots are used in pharmacies to mix some drugs accurately. As the machine technology and computer science develop, these robots are getting smarter and have better capabilities, accuracies.

Works about AI in medical robotics systems are aimed to configure them as expert or knowledge-based systems or both. There are different types of clinical tasks:

  • Generating alerts and reminders. These tasks include an important aim as monitoring the patience situation. In the surgery or during the patience’s resting, it is vital to monitor and react as soon as possible. A robot that is equipped with necessary sensors, with knowledge and precise working as reduced to a minimum tolerance of error, it can monitor the situation and send reminders or alerts in case of emergency immediately.
  • Diagnostic assistance. When patience’s case is rare or complex, the robot with AI can help on diagnosis compiling the data of patience’s history and similar cases.
  • Therapy critiquing and planning. An intelligent robot can advise for revising a treatment plan based upon accepted treatment guidelines. Also it can formulate the treatment model according to the patience’s previous illnesses and history.
  • Agents for information retrieval. These robots are designed to get information through internet, especially from similar cases happened before relevant to the patience’s situation. It needs to medical knowledge to refine the information that matches the patience’s illnesses.
  • Image recognition and interpretation. Medical images can be analyzed by automated robots and in unusual situations, it can be asked for a doctor attention. Smart robots developed with AI can analyze X-rays, angiograms, CT and MRI scan and diagnose the problem.


Fig. 2. A robot developed for surgery operations.

B. Space Robots

Outside of the Earth is always a challenge for the human history, through the advances in robotics science it led new opportunities to discover extraterrestrial life. As well as the robotics has been developed, outside of the Earth has many though conditions in compare to our planet. First of all there is no gravity. Secondly the temperatures can change wildly in any moment and in any situation. Lastly, the biggest problem is the space is not a habitable place for humans, thus a robot is at its own when it is outside of the world. There comes the artificial intelligence and its applications that the robots must have while they are on their own in the space.

Expected attributes of a space robot are imagining, exploring, self-maintenance, data mining-reporting. Imagining is a must-have feature of the space robots, observing the space or the planet that they are visiting is one of the important events. Exploring attribute pairs with imagining, a space robot is expected to explore the place it visits, take pictures and videos. Data-mining and reporting includes the data which is got from exploring the area and it is a though aim for a robot also. Lastly feature of selfmaintenance is also a must-have for space robots. When a robot is sent to a few million kilometers far away from the Earth, it is not expected to get it back if there is a problem with the robot. Unless there is a big mechanical or electrical problem, it is aimed that the robots that are sent to the space have to fix or at least analyze what the problem is. All these tasks cannot be without artificial intelligence applicants. Computer science has an important part of space robots projects with electrics and mechanics.


Fig. 3. Robonaut 2 – developed by NASA [14]

C. Industrial Robots

Industrial robots have main attributes that differs from the other type of robots. These are, min failure rate, time consuming working and durability. In manufacturing, failure rate is a consuming problem and the systems are expected to work near “0” failure rate. The most considering problem of the industrial robots is decreasing the failure rate. With good programmed robot, this rate can be decreased to minimum even “0”. These robots are built to work fast. With a failure rate near zero, they are built to work in a fast way to make production faster. Lastly, after all of the costs that spent on an industrial robot on mechanics and programming, it expected to have a long durability time.

The applications of industrial robots are welding, painting, assembly, pick and place, product inspection and testing. [16]

In addition to the robots work precision and speed, they can work in dangerous task and use so much power than a human. With the capability of making decision via using knowledge, these robots can manage to do important tasks without any human assistance. Especially in manufacturing, cost of the workers are big expenses, instead of the workers many factory would prefer buying these intelligent machines.


Fig. 4. Industrial robots

D. Military Robots

One the usage area of the robots is military. Autonomous robots and remote-controlled devices are designed for military.


Fig. 5. A defensive military robot

In today’s world the majority of military robots are tele-operated and not equipped with weapons. Artificial intelligence is not related to these remote controlled robots, because they are just mechanics controlled by humans and it is not expected them to do tasks on their own. Especially the autonomous robots have very important advantages when it is compared to humans that is the reason why artificial intelligence is needed for military robots. In 1987 Major Kenneth Rose of the US Army’s Training and Doctrine Command said; “Machines don’t get tired. They don’t close their eyes. They don’t hide under trees when it rains and they don’t talk to their buddies … A human’s attention to detail on guard duty drops dramatically in the first 30 minutes … Machines know no fear.” [17] These words show us the importance of the robots for military. When it comes to reality, if you build 1.000.000 robots for the service and tried to control them by commands remotely, it will just lead to chaos.

Military robots are used in many areas, such as defense, bomb removal, ammo carriage, enemy detect etc. With artificial intelligence, smart robots can detect the movements around a certain area, remove the bombs landmines, or carry the ammo between places.

In another aspect, it makes sense to use smart robots in dangerous and suspicious situations which is too risky for humans to include.

E. Service Robots

Main goal of service robots is to perform useful services to humans especially on household operations. These robots can be studied in three main categories.

  • Domestic and household

Bill Gates claimed that robots will become more common in the future. [19] As well as the robots spread in many areas, domestic and household robots will reach big numbers eventually. These robots are built for helping people at their home. In recent years, to give an example robotic vacuum cleaners and cat litter robots started to find customers to buy. It is inevitable to see expert robots that can do household jobs in the near future with artificial intelligence these do not need any human assistance. These robots can learn the household’s habits and set time and other attributes of the services that it provides.


Fig. 6. Household robot is filling the dishwasher

  • Restaurant and Bar

Smart robots can be used for delivery and cleaning tasks in the restaurants and cafes. With AI, without human assistance these robots can complete daily tasks and also deliver foods to the customers’ tables.

  • Scientific

Robots are helpful in laboratory experiments such as in repetitive tasks. When they are programmed well, they have the capabilities of designing and running experiments, analyzing the data and even forming hypotheses. For example, a robot called “Adam”, became the first robot conducting experiments and make a scientific theory from it. [20] Adam made logical assumptions based on information that he was programmed into it about metabolism of yeast and the way proteins and genes work in other animals. After all that he proved its assumptions are correct.


From the science-fiction movies, books, people are used to hear about robots and have concern about if the robots get intelligence and dominate in the world. Near future does not seem like the robots conquer the world. The robots are already a parts of our lives. In manufacturing industrial robots are widely used, military robots are used for assist in dangerous situations, space robots are investigating the other planets and reporting, house robots vacuuming the floors at homes.

Joanne Pransky, who has been involved in robotics for twenty years and calls herself the World’s First Robotic Psychiatrist, “”Within the next 10 years, I hope to be able to afford to lease or purchase a domestic robot that not only does the household cleaning and prepare and serve my meals, but could carry me to the bathtub if I can’t walk, monitor my vital signs, and if I need a medical specialist from afar, could remotely become his or her eyes, hands, and ears.” Robotics science keeps developing beyond the mechanics and computer science. It will keep changing and the human will have the power to make a robot think some day.


Robots are already in many areas, and their numbers are increasing, their features are developing. With the improvements in mechanics, electronics, and computer science it seems like the robots will be the main parts of our daily life. Applying of the artificial intelligence techniques to these powerful machines will make them powerful and more useful, but robots dominating the world idea does not seem so realistic for the next 30 years.


[1] History of Robots,

[2] A short history of robots,

[3] Three Laws of Robotics, Robotics

[4] Renato M.E. Sabbatini, “Imitation of Life: A History of First Robots”, PhD,

[5] History of Robotics,

[6] A. M. Turing, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, 1950

[7] M. Du Sautoy, “AI Robot: How machine intelligence is evolving, The Observer” , 1 April 2012

[8] Types of Robots,

[9] “Global Medical Robots Market (SurgicalRobot, Rehabilition Robotics, Telemedicine, Assistive Robots, Orthorics, Prosthetics, Radio Surgery, Ex oskeleton) – Forecasts to 2018”, Normans Media Ltd., May 19, 2014

[10] Paolo Dario, “Smart Surgical Tools and Augmenting Devices”, IEEE, October 2003

[11] R. H. Taylor, “Robots as Surgical Assistants: Where We Are, Wither We Are Tending, and How to Get There” The John Hopkins University,

[12] E. Coiera, Guide to Health Informatics, Chapter 19, “Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: an Introduction”, CRC Press, October 2003

[13] E. Keravnou, C. Garbay, R. Baud, J. Wyatt, Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, March 199, pages 3-11.

[14] Robonaut 2, Robonaut: Home,

[15] Learn about robouts,

[16] Industrial robot,

[17] B. Pokorny, “Creating the ideal soldier; U.S. Sekkes a Pfc. Robot”, March 1987

[18] “Current use of Military Robots”, current-use-military.html

[19] W.B. Gates, “A Robot in Every Home”, Jabuary 2007

[20] “Industrial and Service Robots”, International Federation of Robotics,

[21] “Adam becomes first robot to make a scientific discovery after conducting its own experiments”, Daily Mail, April 2009

[22] M. Bay, M. Ford, “Robots: The future is now”, April 2006

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