Difference Between Robotics and Automation

In this post, we will see some differences between the terms of robotics and automation.

Robotics and automation both go hand in hand in terms of automating a system or machine to achieve its task in a very short span of time and with the highest level of accuracy.

Both of them are machines designed to work automatically in industries.

Difference Between Robotics and Automation

Let us see first the basic definition of both these terms to understand the difference between them more properly.


Robotics is a field of engineering which deals in the design, construction, programming, and operation of robots.

Basically, you can term it as an artificial version of a human being. It is controlled by a set of programs and mechatronics control, which makes it able to various complex series of movements properly.

As robots are designed to work as human beings, they have various sets of sensors installed in them to capture audio, visual and tactile effects.

They use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to carry out all the predefined software activities in it and work exactly like a human.


Automation is categorized under two names

  • Software and
  • Industrial.

Software automation deals in performing computer-based tasks inside a computer automatically.

Industrial automation deals in performing physical tasks in a machine or system automatically.

If we consider the technologies used in them, it can be defined from a basic computer to PLC, DCS, SCADA, and other industrial automation techniques.

Robotics versus Automation

Simply, if you compare it with robotics, you will find that both of them are assigned to do a task automatically; with one major difference – component used.

Robotics uses robots whereas automation uses advanced levels of microprocessors and computer-like devices.

Industrial Robot

Some people also term robotics as a sub-category of industrial automation, as the robot is nothing but a set of sensors and processors built inside it for performing an industrial task in the same way as a PLC does.

One major difference of a robot is that as it is designed like a human resemblance with all the human activities, robots can work in dangerous and hazardous environments where a person cannot go for work or where an industrial computer cannot be installed.

Many engineers come across a common query. They ask that if they install a motion controller with servo drives and advanced hydraulic and mechanical machines driven by them, then they too will perform machine automation in the same way as robots.

But just due to the use of complex algorithms with human capability-type sensors installed in them, robots can perform a higher level of the task than standard industrial automation products.

The topic is very complex to debate because robotics too is just a type of automation.

Some consider robotics as a part of process automation (RPA); others categorize robotics as a very different world from automation.


We can just conclude that both the technologies differ in terms of devices and instruments used for automating a machine or system. Robotics is a more advanced version of technology when compared to automation.

In short, you can also say that once you learned the various techniques in software and industrial automation, you can go ahead with learning robotics which mixes more things in it apart from automation.

Website: Automize industry

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