A word often used in reference to robotics. An autonomous robot is a robot capable of functioning with no human interaction. It usually does this either by using a sensor array which detects current conditions and reacts based on them, or by using a pre-programmed set of instructions which it blindly executes. While beneficial by freeing up manpower, autonomous robots have the shortcoming of not being able to adapt and react to all conditions - While the programming and artificial intelligence programmed into them may be able to react to many, and even most, things that come up, there is almost always something that can come up and disrupt the program, requiring human intervention to correct the condition and reset the program.
Au*ton"o*mous (?), a. [Gr. ; self + to assign, hold, sway.]
Independent in government; having the right or power of self-government.
Having independent existence or laws.
© Webster 1913.
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