AI and Robotics: Conceptual Differences


Despite a few similarities, AI and Robotics are not the same things. To understand the distinction between the two, imagine AI as the brain and robots as the body of artificially intelligent robots — the combination of AI and Robotics.

What’s the Difference Between Robotics and Artificial Intelligence?

Robotics and AI are related fields but serve different purposes.

Robotics involves the design, manufacture, and operation of robots. A robot is a physical machine that can be programmed to perform various tasks.

AI deals with developing intelligent machines that can perform tasks that would need human intelligence. It includes understanding natural language, recognizing images, and making decisions based on pre-defined rules or mathematical optimization.

AI is also used to control a robot, but not all robots have AI capabilities.

What Is Robotics?

Robotics is a field of engineering and computer science that produces robots. Robots are programmable machines. They can be designed to perform a wide range of activities — from simple repetitive actions to complex, sophisticated tasks.

Robots interact with the physical world via sensors and actuators. Sensors allow robots to perceive their environment and gather information. And actuators allow robots to act on the environment — move or manipulate objects.

Robots can be either autonomous (operate without human intervention) or semi-autonomous (need some level of human supervision).

One example of a basic robot is a cobot. This collaborative robot is designed to work alongside humans in a shared environment. They are often used in manufacturing and assembly lines and assist with picking, packing, and assembling.

Some of the benefits of cobots include increased efficiency and improved safety. It also can perform repetitive tasks with utmost precision and accuracy.

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

AI is a computer algorithm that performs tasks needing human intelligence.

These include perception, learning, language, problem-solving, and logical reasoning. AI aims to create machines that can think, reason, and make decisions like humans do.

There are several approaches to AI, including rule-based systems and machine learning. The former relies on a set of pre-defined rules. The latter allows computers to learn from data, improving their performance over time. Machine learning is a branch of AI that allows the computer to learn without being programmed. Its subset, deep learning, uses large neural networks to improve the performance of AI.

Applications of AI

AI technology has found a wide range of applications in the modern world. Examples include using AI algorithms in Google search, Amazon’s product recommendation system, and GPS navigation tools.

Also, AI is used in medicine, finance, and transportation, to mention a few.

It is important to note that while many people associate AI with robots, most AI programs are not meant to drive robots. Instead, they are used to analyze data, make predictions, and perform tasks that need human intelligence.

Example of Creative AI & Its Implications

Creative AI is a subfield of AI that focuses on using AI algorithms to create art, music, and other forms of creative content. It uses various techniques — neural networks, genetic algorithms, and evolutionary computation.

AI-generated art is being used on platforms like DeviantArt. It led to strikes by human artists because they felt their work was devalued. The platform addressed the concerns by implementing stricter guidelines for AI-generated content. Using creative AI raises ethical issues and needs to be addressed as technology evolves.

Artificially Intelligent Robots

AI robots can perform complex tasks that involve human-like intelligence. They include understanding natural language, recognizing patterns, and making decisions.

Yet, it is important to note that not all robots have AI capabilities. Industrial robots, for example, are programmed to perform a specific set of repetitive movements, which do not need AI. These non-intelligent robots have limited capabilities.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in developing robots with AI capabilities. They can perform more complex tasks and work more effectively in unstructured environments.


Warehouse automation robots use AI algorithms to navigate, locate, and pick items for shipment. They can also make decisions on the fly. Amazon’s Astro bot is one example. It is an intelligent robot that uses AI algorithms to navigate/locate packages and deliver them to human workers.

The robot can scan barcodes on packages to determine their location. It then moves to that location to pick up the package and deliver it to a packager.

What About Software Robots and Artificial Intelligence?

A software robot is a computer program that acts independently to perform specific tasks. Common examples include web crawlers and chatbots. RPA is another example of a technology that develops software robots. They emulate human actions to efficiently interact with software or digital systems/networks. Thus, these robots can understand what’s on the computer screen, extract data and identify it, etc. Software robots are meant to streamline workflows and business processes, as well as increase productivity and employee satisfaction.

Robotics and AI Have a Promising Future

Robotics and AI are closely related fields, but they can coexist or exist independently. Many robots are designed to perform simple and repetitive tasks, such as assembly line work. It is predictable and pre-programmed and thus does not need AI capabilities.

Yet, as technology advances and AI becomes more sophisticated, we are likely to see an increasing number of AI-equipped robots in various industries.

If you’re interested in learning more about the latest developments in robotics and AI, Twinslash will be happy to provide you with solutions.