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Welcome to the Robotistry.Org terminology wiki.

A Few Words on Structure and Purpose

The terminology wiki is the Robotistry.Org community resource for relevant definitions. This page hosts the definitions, especially of the words whose definitions we disagree on. Each word will have a link to a discussion page where the arguments that lead to that definition can be stored. Only the site admin can update definitions on the main page, but any logged in member of the community can contribute to the discussions page. When you think you've reached a definition you can agree on, please flag it on the discussion page with red text. When the definition on the main terminology page has been updated, the text color will be changed back. If you think we need a new definition on the page, please send an email to and we'll add it to the page.


A-C --- D-F --- G-I --- J-L --- M-O --- P-R --- S-U --- V-Z


  1. an adaptive robot modifies the parameters of its algorithms in response to its environment (ref. learning)
  2. an adaptive robot adapts its behavior to its environment (ref. reactive; historical use of adaptive from industrial robotics community, mid-1980s)


  1. an automated robot does not make any decisions. It performs a precise sequence of actions without regard to external input. Even if a robot has sensors, that enable it to learn about its environment, if they aren't used to modify its behavior, the robot is automated, acting as an automaton.


  1. an autonomous robot makes decisions about what actions to take on the basis of locally sensed information about its environment
  2. an autonomous robot requires learning or adaptation to its environment


  1. a cyborg is a combination of a core biological organism, usually human, and machine components.




  1. a robot is reactive if it uses a simple sense-act model to control its behavior, without a plan or decide component and without a world model (1980's)
  2. a robot is reactive if its behavior is modified by its interaction with the environment rather than just on the basis of sensors that monitor its internal state (modern, broader definition)

Remote Control

  1. a robot is operating under remote control when a human operator is controlling the robot via an off-board controller and has access to direct visual feedback about the state of the robot.
  2. a robot is operating under remote control when the human operator provides continuous control input - if the input command stream stops, the robot stops moving.


  1. a robot is a mechanism that does a job for a human and is separate from the human


  1. Robotics is the field of study focusing on the design, development and use of robots.


  1. a robot is semi-autonomous when it is capable of recognizing that it has reached an operating environment in which it is not capable of working and is programmed or designed to request external help.
  2. a robot is semi-autonomous when the operator has defined specific points at which the robot will relinquish control to the operator


  1. a robot is teleoperated when the human operator is controlling its every move, but the command stream is not required to be continuous and the human is using sensors on-board the robot for situational awareness. The operator may send higher level commands (e.g. "go to waypoint") and the robot will complete the last command it receives before it stops.


  1. a waldo is a mechanism that precisely repeats the actions of its operator (from the Robert Heinlein short story Waldo from the book Waldo & Magic, Inc.)

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Page last modified on March 24, 2016, at 01:31 PM