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In the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre [1] some examples for cam disc driven machines are given. What the visitor can expect are rotating ballet dancers and blacksmith androids which are made out of wood. None of these figures can be called a robot, because they don't have a 16bit microcontroller in the loop, but it's a purely mechanical construction.

It seems that there is a gap between a mechanical robot and an artificial intelligence. All the mechanical robots look more natural than a normal arduino controlled robot which is doing a real-world task. So, it seems that the explanation that only a Turing machine makes the difference is a bit naive.

It's not possible to upgrade a mechanical android from the Cabaret theater with a servo motor because then the magic is gone. It wouldn't be longer a charmful android but a work-machine. Please define the border between a mechanical toy and a robot!

[1] Wikipedia Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabaret_Mechanical_Theatre

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  • $\begingroup$ "None of these figures can be called a robot, because they don't have a 16bit microcontroller in the loop", so you define a robot as a 16-bit micro-controller? Is that the basic definition of robot? Also, what do you mean by "make the difference" in "it seems that the explanation that only a Turing machine makes the difference"? Btw, wouldn't this question better fit https://robotics.stackexchange.com/? $\endgroup$ – nbro Jun 29 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ Furthermore, your question "Please define the border between a mechanical toy and a robot!" will lead to philosophical or speculative answers. Essentially, you're asking: "What is a robot?" or "What can be considered a robot?". $\endgroup$ – nbro Jun 29 at 14:31

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