According to,


  1. A machine that resembles a human and does mechanical, routine tasks on command.
  2. A person who acts and responds in a mechanical, routine manner, usually subject to another will; automation.
  3. Any machine or mechanical device that operates automatically with human like skills.

Robot definition 1.

Robot definition 2.

Robot definition 3.

Robots from the media:

According to wikipedia

"A robot is a mechanical or virtual artificial agent, usually and electro-mechanical machine that is guided by a computer program or electric circuitry."

So just to simplify all this technical terminology, when I mention robot, generally I will be referring to the first and third dictionary term, 

  • Robots are machines that resemble humans.
  • A machine that operates automatically.

Now, there are two more terms that are closely related robots, and those two terms are cyborgs and androids. Many may say cyborgs and androids are essentially robots so why is there a need to distinguish them. Well, the reason why I am being so nit picky is because I want to try and avoid being too general with the terms because later on in the posts I will be throwing around these terms and I would like the reader to get a more accurate picture when I use these terms.


According to,


A person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent  upon a mechanical or electronic device.

Cyborgs from the media:

According to wikipedia,

"A cyborg, short for "cybernetic organism", is a being with both biological and artificial (i.e. electronic, mechanical, or robotic) parts."

The description on wikipedia was much lengthier but I decided to just quote the simplest part of the description because I was feeling lazy:) If you would like to do some further reading I linked the wikipedia article. You just have to click on the blue lettering of wikipedia.


According to


An automation in the form of a human being.

Androids from the media:

According to wikipedia:

"An android is a robot or synthetic organism designed to look and act like a human, especially one with a body having a flesh-like although "android" is used almost universally to refer to both sexes, and those of no particular sex" 



   With the information I have gather I am going to try and distinguish the terms and try and put them into a simpler context. My distinction of these terms are purely theoretical so by all means nothing I say is definite. 

   I decided to define robots, cyborgs and androids because they are seeming the most popular terms that have been thrown around in the media. Generally, people would casually group these terms into robots, whereas the purists would like to define each term separately. Technically robots, cyborgs and androids are all nouns so they are stand alone words. They each have specified distinctions that vary in meaning but they all fall into the same melting pot of robotics. They all function in the realm of the media , most commonly in science fiction. There are more sub-categories and terms that are used to distinguish these robots but I will dive into that category later in the post. 

   Robots were at one point generally the easiest to distinguish because when someone says robot people generally thought of something like this:

   But sometimes when you search for robots you can come up with results like this:

   By definition, the figure in the image above would be specified as an android, because it is an automation in the form of a human being. And yes, It can also be generalized as a robot, as defined by our dictionary definition number 1. 
   But wait you say! so the term robot and android can be used simultaneously to describe the humanoid robot above, but why is it not a cyborg? Well, a cyborg is a term used when the entity still functioning with biological means. Technically, the unfortunate subject below can be termed, cyborg:

   The subject in the image above may not be the science fiction equivalent of a cyborg, but the modern day cyborg can be a person who needs robotic automations, implemented onto their bodies, and function as one being. 

   One of the most difficult thoughts that I have come across is when do you distinguish the grey area between cyborgs and androids. Lets imagine a situation where we are in to the far impending future, and in this time period robotics is socially accepted as a part of life. let us presume there is a person who has been through an accident and 90 percent of their body has suffered irreparable damage. The only real organ that is intact is their brain. Medical science is so far advanced that they "repair" this poor soul by using mechanical parts. The only part that functions as a biological organ is the brain. The rest of their body is robotic. Lets assume that this persons personality has not changed. Their memory is 100 percent in tact and they are feeling fine, or maybe even better post-accident. Basically, their life has not changed and their general "spirit" is still in tact. They function normally in society, and nobody notices any significant changes. I also want you to understand that no robotic parts are jutting out from our hypothesized subject. They basically look human. But here is the question. Now that this person is almost fully a robot, and their brain is the only biological part remaining, is this person a cyborg or an android? 

  • How much of the persons body can be manipulated to distinguish itself between cyborg or android? 
  • If the person removed all of their organs then would this person be a cyborg or an android?
  • What if the person removed all of his biological organs, but they still kept their "spirit" or "soul", would this being be a cyborg or an android?
  • If we designed an android and inserted a human "soul" into it, would this android still be an android or a cyborg?

   I have many more questions that I would like to bring forth to debate on but there are so many technical perks that can be pointed out so I want to leave it as this. I am sure you readers have much more potent questions to ask and answer:)

   An anime called "Ghost in the Shell" does a great job in asking these questions. The setting takes place in the near future where many people can opt to become cyborgs. When you watch the film you really wonder what the essence of a human being is. If we were to change our whole body into to a prosthetic item, and our memories are stored as data, then essentially human can become godlike beings without the need to worry about decay and death. When our memories flow in the cyberspace, a digital realm that resembles a vast ocean, and we can reach out to it whenever we please, we gain a sense of comfort but we lose a sense of humanity. Even thought we are essentially the same being, where is our "soul" and where is our "spirit"? Near the end of the movie the main character dives into the realm of cyberspace, and technically, the main character is an android, she reaches a point in the climax where she gains a "soul". The plot and philosophy described in "Ghost in the Shell" is much more complex than how I have described it. I still get confused when I watch that show so for those smarty pants out there you can read up on the philosophy of "Ghost in the Shell" by clicking on the blue font.    

I have no answers for any of my questions but I do want to reach a conclusion for this section.In my opinion, the term robot can be used to describe androids, but the term robot cannot be used to describe cyborgs because cyborgs are still, to some extent, organic beings. Androids and cyborgs may dwell in a grey area, but when this happens I tell this to myself. Androids are built and designed as robots to resemble humans. They are designed from the beginning to emulate humans, but not to be humans. Cyborgs are humans to begin with, but they have enhanced prosthetic areas, thus making them cyborgs. Hopefully, I have made a clear distinction and clarified the terms:)