Electrical engineers have nice definitions for the foundations of their field:
We can define
- electricity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity),
- resistance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_resistance_and_conductance),
- current (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_current),
- voltage (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/voltage, for a change, but the definition’s not at all helpful so we’ll go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltage after all)
and so forth. But in robotics every term is subject to change without notice. There is no common definition of robot, or autonomy, or intelligence. The only common element is that researchers are still, after three or four decades, able to argue about what the definitions ought to be.