AI and Applications

What is the difference between Artificial Intelligence & Robotics?

February 22, 2021

While the confusion over the terms artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics continues…the two are separate fields of technology and engineering. But when they are collaborated they give what you call as artificially intelligent robots. In the robots Artificial Intelligence works as the brain, while robotics performs as the body thus enabling the robots to see, smell, walk, speak, and so much more.

But is AI a part of Robotics or is Robotics a part of AI? Are they same? Are they distinct?

To know more about whether these two fields of technology or engineering are related or they are different let us read further.

What is artificial intelligence (AI)?

Artificial intelligence can simply be defined as a field of computer science which builds machines that are competent enough of performing tasks like learning and problem-solving, something that is very similar to humans. With assistance from the most ingenious AI like ML or Machine Learning, the algorithms can gain an understanding and also alter their actions as per the inputs received from their surroundings in the absence of any kind of human intervention. Many industries like healthcare, manufacturing, education have already deployed AI at on or the other level. The search algorithm of Google or the recommendation feature on Facebook are some instances of Artificial Intelligence which we use in our day to day life. 

What is robotics?

Robotics is that field of engineering or technology which focuses on building and making robots function is called robotics. The programmable machines or Robots can autonomously or semi-autonomously complete a task. Starting from its electronic configurations to its coding the instructions and actions, robotics is all about making the constructed machine operate autonomously. With the help of sensors the robots can communicate with the physical world and are also able to move. To function and perform tasks the robots have to be programmed.

A robot basically constitutes of the following:

  • Robots communicate with the physical world through actuators and sensors.  
  • Robots are generally autonomous or semi-autonomous.
  • Robots are programmable.

Where do robotics and AI connect ? Are robotics and artificial intelligence really the same thing?

The foremost thing to clarify is that Artificial Intelligence and Robotics are not same at all. To be precise, the two fields of technology are almost entirely different to each other.

The main reason why most of the people out there find the two technologies same and do not see the line of difference is because there exist artificially intelligent robots! Yes, these robots controlled by artificial intelligence. What people cannot notice is the fact that in the robot, AI is the brain and robotics is the body. 

We can illustrate this difference with an example: a simple robot is programmed to lift an object and keep it at a different location. This task has to continue until the robot is told to stop. Now if we add a camera and an AI algorithm to the robot, it will be able to see and detect the object, while also deciding from where it has to be lifted and where it has to be kept. This is what an artificially intelligent robot is!

Now you also know that robotics and artificial intelligence are two different things.

Robotics includes building robots while Artificial Intelligence includes programming intelligence.

What are Artificially Intelligent Robots?

Artificially intelligent robot is the connection between AI and robotics. AI robots are managed by the AI programs. Artificially intelligent robots are fired up and managed by AI programs. These AI algorithms assist these robots to complete the more challenging tasks than ever before.

Not all robots are artificially intelligent. Until recently the industrial robots were programmed only to perform a tedious series of motion that do not need artificial intelligence. Nevertheless the non-intelligent robots are somewhat restricted in how they function.  

Some specific examples of artificially-intelligent robots are:

Cobot (Non Artificially Intelligent)

The cobot is a collaborative robot that can perform tasks itself after programming and in this case it doesn’t require any kind human assistance till the time it is turned off. 

Cobot (Artificially Intelligent)

The non artificially Cobot which is mentioned above can be developed further by adding AI to it. It adds perception and decision-making instincts to the robot. 

Software Robot

Basically a software robot is a computer program that furnishes a task on different software and websites all by its own. Another name for software robots is bots as they don’t have any real existence but are only computer programs. 

Artificially intelligent robots are a reasonably recent development. As research and development carries on, we can anticipate artificially intelligent robots to start to reflect humanoid characterisations which we witness in movies.

Main Idea

Artificial Intelligence is a connection between machines and human intelligence whereas Robotics makes use of AI to enhance the performance of the robots. AI is developing computer systems which helps robots perform the tasks that are intelligently same as a human being.


The distinction which makes Artificial Intelligence protrude is its capability to take decisions. AI is a technological brain programming and wires while Robots require instructions or codes of instruction in advance to work either autonomously or semi-autonomously. With almost nothing in common between AI and robotics, the robots may or may not use AI. 

But when we combine the two it will definitely benefit them both. Artificially Intelligent Robots will gain greater power and intelligence than ever, while helping them perform more challenging and complex tasks.