# Is a printer a robot? [closed]

While formulating an answer to this question let us consider the parts and the function of the printer during its basic process. We tell the printer what we want it to do, "print this". The printer then produces the product we told it to produce. The printer is complex, being composed of multiple motors, and lever mechanisms which one might find in a robot. Printers, especially all-in-one printers are capable of multiple tasks. Printers such as these also have a sensor which "sees" an object and can replicate the object. There may now exist combinations of sensors which "see" and possibly "feel" an object which can be replicated in 3D. These are tasks which historically were performed by humans.

The answer should be more than yes or no, including explanation or proof.

Edit:

In response to posts regarding this question being a duplicate of What is the difference between a Robot and a Machine?, it is not. I am asking the reader if this particular device known as a printer is considered a type of robot. However, the suggested duplicate does offer more information to help answer this question. Also, it is suggested in the proposed duplicate post that THAT post should be placed in the philosophy exchange. I see the logic in my post and the other being placed there. I do also think these questions should be posted here because they are specific to robotics.

As for clarification, I am leaning toward personally defining printers, especially newer models, all-in-ones, and various 3d printing devices as robots. I am asking in order to clarify my own understanding and see if others agree. I also am seeking to understand the technology better and am having a hard time finding resources to study. I asked a question about the sort of courses I might take at school in the Academia exchange and no one knew ( https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/120366/what-courses-would-teach-me-how-to-better-understand-computer-printers ) So, I came here thinking I might need to take robotics courses to really learn how to make a printer for the future.

Edit:

"Most printers have a very limited set of sensors (some limit switches and temperature sensors), but most are not even able to detect failed prints. So they are not able to sense or react to their environment."

• Before arguing if something is a robot, you need to define what a robot is first. – Petch Puttichai Nov 21 '18 at 8:12
• Welcome to Robotics, takintoolong. As it stands, it's not clear what you're asking. As @PetchPuttichai mentions, you haven't stated criteria for what a robot is, but I believe if you did state the criteria then you would answer your own question. Beyond that, it's not clear to me what the object of your question is - are you asking about a "standard" printer, or a 3D printer? Are you trying to answer your own question in the body? You don't actually ask a question anywhere except in the title, and the text of your question doesn't serve to clarify the title. – Chuck Nov 21 '18 at 17:39
• I think this is essentially a duplicate question ("What's the difference between a robot and a machine?") so I'm going to close this question as such. If the answers to that question don't also answer your question, please edit your post to state why the answers there were inadequate and what you're still looking for. – Chuck Nov 21 '18 at 17:57
• Biological systems, for example a chicken, can be understood as a 3d printer. Reprogramming such a biological robot is possible with DNA modification. A possible way for creating Synthetic biological systems are grammar based domain specific languages like BioLogo. – Manuel Rodriguez Nov 21 '18 at 19:58
• Your problem is as @PetchPuttichai has said: without defining what you mean by 'robot' there is no way to answer your question. There is no universally accepted definition of a 'robot'. If you type the question 'what is a robot?' into a search engine you'll find a variety of definitions, some of which would include printers and others that would exclude printers. – sempaiscuba Nov 22 '18 at 10:36

• The open question is, why don't they are behave so in reality? What do you mean by this? Why don't they behave like what? Also, ROS doesn't really control anything, it's more of a development framework that provides standard methods for interfacing, visualizing, and debugging robotic systems. There are some standard processing packages that would enable mapping and navigation, but that won't "transform [a reprap] into a living organism which can reproduce itself." Besides, the question wasn't if printers are or could be living, but if they're robots. – Chuck Nov 21 '18 at 18:05