- A mechanical or virtual, artificial agent
- An electro-mechanical system, which, by its appearance or movements, conveys a sense that it has intent or agency of its own
- A machine which is anthropomorphic or zoomorphic in shape or scope of function
As William Saletan writes in his New York Times book review of Michael Belfiore's "The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs", the US Defense Advanced Research Products Agency (DARPA) is driving the creation of robots with human capabilities In 2004-2007, DARPA sponsored a series of three Grand Challenge races for driverless trucks, resulting in the substantially improved performance in the second and third races, surpassing human performance in areas such as reaction time.
Robots are not only emulating our bodies, but are beginning to heal and complete them. DARPA is currently working on a surgical robot that could help wounded soldiers survive until they can reach a hospital, while some amputees are using experimental prosthetic limbs controlled by the signals of surgically re-routed nerves
Accelerating developments in artificial intelligence, upon which robotics depends for cognitive capabilities, have caused some to consider the singularity, which is the technological creation of superhuman intelligence. The annual RoboCup robotic soccer seeks to transcend human capabilities with the following goal:The video shows selections from the 2009 RoboCup competition. The humanoid finals at the end remind me of my days as an assistant Microsoccer coach when my daughter was in kindergarten. Enjoy!