Robotics and Its Three Laws That Stop Machines from World Domination (2023)

Last updated date: 10th Feb 2023

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Robotics is the most popular subject these days. Researchers and scientists are working on different prototypes of robots to introduce them into our lives and make them more convenient. Robots with their sense of understanding and analysing things come from artificial intelligence. Is this the doom of human civilisation? Well, the robots are bound by the 3 laws of robotics framed by Isaac Asimov.

Asimov gave the laws of robotics in his Foundation Series and Robot Stories. These were all written during 1942-49. It turns out to be the bible of the ethical system a robot has to follow. In this blog, we will discuss the three laws elaborately and how it protects humans from extermination. First, let us learn what robotics is.

What is Robotics?

Robotics is a branch of engineering that includes the contribution and innovation of machines driven by a conscience made of artificial intelligence. According to the robotics meaning, this branch of science and engineering explains how a non-living artificial thing will have its own thinking power and can analyse like humans.

The prime objective is to create intelligent machines that will make our lives easier and more convenient. These machines are built with the intention to help and assist humans in different aspects of life. It can be in the field of gardening or in war, in performing intricate surgeries or in taking care of house chores.

The Three Laws of Robotics

Too many movies related to artificial intelligence showing machines taking over the world give us spine chills. We see robots becoming smarter than humans and questioning our existence. Movies perfectly depict that humans are the only animals that destroy their own homes and machines have understood this clearly. Is the domination of humans in the hands of machines inevitable?

In this aspect, the novel ‘Runaround’ written by Isaac Asimov as fiction in 1942 shows remarkable relevance to artificial intelligence and its use in the modern world. In his novel, he explains the ethical system between robots and humans that stops the former from harming the latter. Despite being 80 years old, AI developers and robotics researchers still find the three laws to be relevant.

Robotics and Its Three Laws That Stop Machines from World Domination (1)

3 Robotics Laws of Asimov

The Three Laws of Robotics Are:

1. A robot will not allow a human being to come to harm or may not injure a human being through inaction.

2. A robot must and always will obey the orders given by humans unless the orders are in conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot is entitled to protect its own existence unless its protection is not in conflict with the First Law and Second Law.

He also added another rule later and called it the Zeroth Rule. According to this law of Asimov robotics, ‘a robot will not harm humanity or through any inaction will allow humanity to come to harm’. This law actually supersedes all the laws he mentioned in his science fiction novel.

You will also be surprised to know that the term ‘robotics’ was invented by the legendary science fiction writer in 941. He thought that this word already exists in the engineering and application fields relating to mechanics, hydraulics, etc. To his surprise, he was the first one to use this word.

How Will Asimov’s Laws of Robotics Protect Us?

The artificial intelligence we have now is not that powerful to comprehend such a huge feat. It is not too late that this type of AI will be developed. In fact, it can also happen that an AI can design another AI itself!

We have machines with AI that are taking care of our house chores. A Roomba is vacuuming our rooms. We have digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri that help us find answers to many questions. There are limits that make a Roomba not harm anyone. The algorithms and sensors protect us from such things.

Similarly, our virtual assistants will also not do stupid things such as turning on ovens or other devices to cause harm. We also have self-driving cars with very few reported accidents. Cars are driven using AI-powered platforms and will not harm the passengers.

To our surprise, this science fiction writer’s three laws are perfect and applicable to all the AI machines we design. We can also ensure the development of powerful AI platforms by instilling these laws and making the machines not harm us under any condition.

All these three laws have been shaped in a perfect way. They can depict almost any scenario where a human can be harmed or get injured due to the inaction of a robot. Even though we are a little distant from such a future, we might be able to witness it in real life. These laws will not let machines or robots break the ethical system and harm a human being.

Robotics Laws for Protecting Our Future

The answer to what do you mean by robotics is generally based on the movies we watch. We have seen movies where humans live in simulations. We have watched a series related to AI detecting crimes before they happen. The future is based on AI and will become dependent on such robots.

This really worries us since robots might cost us dearly. Thanks to the creator of the three robotics laws while writing a science fiction novel that we know how to protect ourselves. These laws will be instilled in the AI-driven platforms that control robots.

Robots may be able to think and analyse on their own but will always remain loyal to their creators by following these three laws. We can clearly understand that these simple laws are the beginning to creating a harmless protocol for the robots to follow.


What are the 3 rule of robotics? ›

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Are the 3 laws of robotics real? ›

The first problem is that the laws are fiction! They are a plot device that Asimov made up to help drive his stories. Even more, his tales almost always revolved around how robots might follow these great sounding, logical ethical codes, but still go astray and the unintended consequences that result.

Where did the 3 laws of robotics come from? ›

three laws of robotics, rules developed by science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov, who sought to create an ethical system for humans and robots. The laws first appeared in his short story “Runaround” (1942) and subsequently became hugely influential in the sci-fi genre.

Who was the creator of the 3 laws of robotics? ›

The most famous was author Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, which are designed to prevent robots harming humans. But since 2005, my colleagues and I at the University of Hertfordshire, have been working on an idea that could be an alternative.

What gives robot a 3 D view of the world? ›

When we see the same feature in both eyes, like a finger held out in front of the face, our brain estimates the distance from our eyes to that object. This gives us a perception of depth as we view the world. Robots do this by collecting images with two cameras placed close together but always the same distance apart.

What is the 4th law of robotics? ›

This Fourth Law states: "A robot must reproduce. As long as such reproduction does not interfere with the First or Second or Third Law."

Can robots rule over humans? ›

Robots Will Have No Legal Powers

And they won't have any!!! Robots (even intelligent ones) are only machines and they won't have human rights like the right to own property, the right to own companies, the right to vote, etc.

What is the 0 law of robotics? ›

0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm." (Wikipedia article on Three Laws of Robotics, accessed 10-20-2013).

What are 3 jobs that are in danger of being taken over by robotics in the future? ›

7. 12 jobs that robots will replace in the future
  • Customer service executives. Customer service executives don't require a high level of social or emotional intelligence to perform. ...
  • Bookkeeping and data entry. ...
  • Receptionists. ...
  • Proofreading. ...
  • Manufacturing and pharmaceutical work. ...
  • Retail services. ...
  • Courier services. ...
  • Doctors.
Mar 22, 2021

When were the Three Laws of Robotics created? ›

Back in 1942, before the term was even coined, the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov wrote The Three Laws of Robotics: A moral code to keep our machines in check. And the three laws of robotics are: a robot may not injure a human being, or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm.

What would happen if human beings were govern by robots? ›

A future world dominated by robots could in principle evolve gradually from a world dominated by humans. The basic nature, divisions, and distributions of cities, nations, industries, professions, and firms need not change greatly as machines slowly displace humans on jobs.

Who made the first robot and why? ›

The earliest robots as we know them were created in the early 1950s by George C. Devol, an inventor from Louisville, Kentucky. He invented and patented a reprogrammable manipulator called "Unimate," from "Universal Automation." For the next decade, he attempted to sell his product in the industry, but did not succeed.

Who is the 1st robot? ›

The first digitally operated and programmable robot was invented by George Devol in 1954 and was ultimately called the Unimate. This later laid the foundations of the modern robotics industry.

What robotics means? ›

Robotics is a branch of engineering that involves the conception, design, manufacture and operation of robots. The objective of the robotics field is to create intelligent machines that can assist humans in a variety of ways. Robotics can take on a number of forms.

Who is called Father of robotics? ›

Al-Jazari is not only known as the "father of robotics" he also documented 50 mechanical inventions (along with construction drawings) and is considered to be the "father of modern day engineering." The inventions he mentions in his book include the crank mechanism, connecting rod, programmable automaton, humanoid ...

What are the 3 main characteristics of autonomous robots? ›

Crucial Components of an Autonomous Robot

The key components to the autonomous action mentioned above include these three key concepts: perception, decision, and actuation.

What are the 3 types of robots? ›

The six most common types of robots are autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), automated guided vehicles (AGVs), articulated robots, humanoids, cobots, and hybrids.

What are 3 ways that robots help humans today? ›

Robots are also used in factories to build things like cars, candy bars, and electronics. Robots are now used in medicine, for military tactics, for finding objects underwater and to explore other planets. Robotic technology has helped people who have lost arms or legs. Robots are a great tool to help mankind.

What is the second law of robots? ›

Asimov's second law of robotics states, “A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the first law.” Although the law itself takes no stand on how humans would give or- ders, Asimov's robots relied on their understanding of verbal directives.

What are the three laws of AI? ›

The first law is that a robot shall not harm a human, or by inaction allow a human to come to harm. The second law is that a robot shall obey any instruction given to it by a human, and the third law is that a robot shall avoid actions or situations that could cause it to come to harm itself.

What are the 6 degrees of freedom in robotics? ›

(6 Degrees Of Freedom) The amount of motion supported in a robotics or virtual reality system. Six degrees provides X, Y and Z (horizontal, vertical and depth) and pitch, yaw and roll. Three degrees of freedom (3DOF) provides X, Y and Z only.

Will robots turn against us? ›

Mirroring human traits onto machines might create misconceptions of what artificial intelligence actually is, but Sci-Fi writers and computer researchers seem to agree on one thing: Artificial intelligence is hugely exciting. No, the machines will not become evil and turn on us.

What year will robots take over? ›

Will robots replace human workers? Robots and artificial intelligence (AI) are expected to permeate our daily lives by 2025. This could have huge implications on several business sectors, most notably healthcare, customer service and logistics.

Will robots invade the world? ›

The "world's most advanced" humanoid robot has reassured that there's no need to worry and it is unlikely that robots will take over the world.

What does 4 degrees of freedom for robotics mean? ›

Location in Space and Robot Axis – The degrees of freedom of a robot typically refer to the number of movable joints of a robot. A robot with three movable joints will have three axis and three degrees of freedom, a four axis robot will have four movable joints and four axis, and so on.

How many degrees of freedom does a robot can have? ›

Degrees of freedom is often used to define the motion capabilities of robots. This type of robotic arm is considered to have seven degrees of freedom. However, a robot can potentially have more than seven. An android, for example, will likely have two arms, two legs and one head, each with its own degrees of freedom.

Where is Zeroth law used? ›

Nonetheless, the most common application of the zeroth law of thermodynamics can be seen in thermometers. We can observe the zeroth law in action by taking a very common thermometer having mercury in a tube. As the temperature is increased this mercury expands since the area of the tube is constant.

What are two possible flaws in the 3 laws of robotics? ›

The First Law fails because of ambiguity in language, and because of complicated ethical problems that are too complex to have a simple yes or no answer. The Second Law fails because of the unethical nature of having a law that requires sentient beings to remain as slaves.

What are some negative impacts of robots? ›

At the same time, however, in areas where there are many people working alongside robots, there were also significant increases in drug- and alcohol-related deaths, 37.8 more cases per 100,000. Further, they also found a slight increase in suicide and other mental health issues.

What is the working principle of robotics? ›

The Robot kinematics deals with the position of links which are connected with the help of joints, which gives the position and orientation of every link present in the robot manipulator to place the end-effector to the required target.

How do robots make decisions? ›

If concrete actions are not planned, the robot could use mathematical optimisation methods to decide how to act. Mathematical optimisation is a technique for achieving the best possible result under given circumstances, called constraints.

What is the law of artificial intelligence? ›

The Law of Artificial Intelligence is an essential practitioner's reference text examining how key areas of current civil and criminal law will apply to AI and examining emerging laws specific to the use of AI. It explains the fundamentals of AI technology, its development and terminology.

How can robots have a negative impact on society? ›

The speed that robotics brings into production directly boosts the consumption of those goods by the masses. In the long term, increased consumption leads to planned obsolescence and depletion of natural resources. Planned obsolescence involves the creation of products that become obsolete fast and need to be replaced.

Why humans Cannot be replaced by robots? ›

AI-based machines don't have emotional intellect.

Businesses can not replace all their customer service with AI. People want to have personal interactions as robots are not able to show empathy and feelings to customers. Thus, without personal interaction businesses can end up losing customers.

Why is a robot called a robot? ›

Robot is drawn from an old Church Slavonic word, robota, for “servitude,” “forced labor” or “drudgery.” The word, which also has cognates in German, Russian, Polish and Czech, was a product of the central European system of serfdom by which a tenant's rent was paid for in forced labor or service.

How can robots help humans? ›

Robots eliminate dangerous jobs for humans because they are capable of working in hazardous environments. They can handle lifting heavy loads, toxic substances and repetitive tasks. This has helped companies to prevent many accidents, also saving time and money.

What are five functions of a robot? ›

According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, these humanoid robots are used in areas such as caregiving and personal assistance, search and rescue, space exploration and research, entertainment and education, public relations and healthcare, and manufacturing.

What are 3 ways a robot can move? ›

There are three primary types of moves that a robot system uses to navigate around the physical world: linear, joint, and circular moves.


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