The A-Z of AI

Robotics

The study of machines built to automate tasks.

Robotics experts are dedicated to creating programmable machines, known as robots.

Today, AI is enabling robots to perform many new tasks, but they have been part of our lives for decades: from elevators to washing machines, automated vacuum cleaners to giant mechanical arms on factory production lines. The term "robots" also covers pieces of software used to automate digital activities, not just physical labor—these are commonly called "bots."

Historically, robots have been designed to carry out basic activities in order to ease people’s workloads. With the introduction of AI, a new generation of robotics has become possible — one in which robots have the ability to analyze and navigate tasks in-the-moment that were previously too hard to automate.

AI is helping to create robots that are more capable, useful and purposeful.

An AI-empowered robot swims beneath the sea, shining its headlight to explore the ocean floor.

Learning about the depths of the ocean used to involve sending human beings encased in submarines into crushing pressures. AI-enabled robots now plunge into the ocean deep for us, making marine research safer, faster and more efficient.

Equipped with AI programming, robots can autonomously chart the ocean floor and perform activities like capturing photos that identify known organisms, as well as pinpointing new ones that researchers never knew existed, and flagging unexplored habitats for analysis.