The present method and system for the automatic orientation and control of a robot in a space or on a surface to be worked by the robot, for example an area to be vacuum-cleaned or a lawn to be mowed, employs a plurality of distance measuring devices, which continuously and repeatedly measure distances from the robot to points or small surface areas defining the surface to be worked. Electro-optical distance measuring devices are effective in a far range. Electro-acoustical distance measuring devices are effective in a close range. Electro and/or mechanical means are effective in a contact range. The distance measuring devices continuously ascertain scalar values which by means of data processing are transformed into digital control signals for the drive means and for the tools carried by the robot, whereby the robot plans its own driving and working strategies as the result of said continuous distance measurements. The drive means include wheels which constitute simultaneously digitally controllable drive motors for the robot. The wheels are tiltable about vertical axes for steering the robot.