There are an unbelievably high number of types of robots. From walking robots, driving robots, and swimming robots (like the ones we make), most types have several qualities in common.
First of all, robots tend to have a movable body. Whether that’s just an arm, like manufacturing robots, or treads, these movable portions use some sort of actuator. Some robots use electric motors or solenoids (pressurized air or fluid).
Robots need power to drive these actuators. Whether it’s a battery or cable, power is needed to move motors, compress hydraulic fluid, or compress air.
Actuators are all wired to an electrical circuit. This circuit powers electrical motors and solenoids directly. Hydraulics are maintained through valves.
Then there’s the computer. To move the robot, the computer switches on all the necessary motors and valves. Most robots are re-programmable — to change the robots behavior, you just rewrite the program.
Some robots have sensors that allow them to touch, see, hear, smell, or taste like humans. For example, cameras or radar can allow robots to see the world around them.
A variety of tools allow robots to perform a wide variety of tasks. In manufacturing, robots can pick up different objects and assemble parts.