Types of Mobile Robots

There are two main types of mobile robots: autonomous and non-autonomous (guided). Guided mobile robots require some type of instruction or guidance system in order to move.​ ​Autonomous mobile robots can move and explore without any type of external direction.​

Mobile robots can also be classified by the environment where they work and the device they used to move.

Land-Based Mobile Robots

Also known as unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) navigate on dry land.

Air-Based Mobile Robots

Also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones – fly through the air.

Water-Based Mobile Robots

Also known as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) – travel through water. 

Parts that Classify a Mobile Robot


Advantages: simpler to use, easier to design, build, and program, and more cost efficient ​

Disadvantage: not very good at navigating over obstacles ​

Types: fixed standard, castor, Swedish, ball or spherical


Advantages: versatility, efficiency, move on soft and uneven terrain, energy efficient, stability, can easily cope with cracks or obstacles found in the environment ​

Disadvantage: more expensive​

Types: biped (humanoids), four-legged (quadruped), six-legged


Advantages: larger ground contact​

Disadvantages: skid/slip steering​

Types: treads