So... What's a robot?
It seems there are a bunch of 'official' definitions for the thing. Here's a few, with examples.
- A programmable, autonomous machine with sensors that allow it to do complex stuff. So, Roomba: yes. Factory robot: yes. UAV: sometimes. Battle-bots: no. Vibrobots: no. Mechanical man sculpture: no.
- A machine in the shape of a person. Mechanical man sculpture: yes, Battle-bots, vibrobots: sometimes. Roomba, factory robots, UAV: no.
- An electronic device in a configuration without an existing name. Sculpture: No. Everything else: yes.
Personally I feel a word's meaning comes from its use. If you call it a robot and you can get people to agree with you, it's a robot. That's pretty much how language works and is why I called my little project a robot. I'm no where near the first person to call a pager motor+battery a robot. But I was an English major, you Engineers out there are likely to get twitchy when things aren't up to published spec.