Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1572-0373
  • E-ISSN: 1572-0381



Globally, robots can be described as some sets of moving parts that are dedicated to a task while using their own energy. Yet, humans commonly qualify those machines as being intelligent, autonomous or being able to learn, know, feel, make decisions, etc. Is it merely a way of talking or does it mean that robots could eventually be more than a complex set of moving parts? On the one hand, the language of robotics allows multiple interpretations (leading sometimes to misreading or confusion in various contexts). On the other hand, the status of robots is challenged more and more by technical achievements and humans’ own empirical beliefs. In this paper, we follow a linguistic approach in order to explore the relevance of these words when talking about robots. Since we note that the words impose themselves (even if opposed), we discuss the efficiency of a rhetorical strategy in order to work with such a lexicon in robotics. More precisely, we explore the argumentative technique of the dissociation of notions through the study of a practical case: the case of robot lawn mowers versus hedgehogs.

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): ethics; intelligent robots; rhetoric; robot autonomy; robot motion
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