I'm not 100% familiar with the 2010s series, but speaking more of the original 1980s cartoon/anime, and the early 2000s semi-spin off/continuation Voltron Force:
It's been heavily implied that the individual Lion robots have a certain amount of autonomy, with the Blue lion in particular seeming to have a type of "psychic link" with Princess Allura. Other implications are that the Lions can or have on different occasions:
- Reacting to pain/celebrating victories with a roar.
- Act on their own to protect their pilots or each other
- Respond to verbal commands
- Act genuinely like big cats
Now, considering how advanced they are, this could just be a well crafted, futuristic A.I., but since Voltron is also based heavily in magic, it's also been inferred that there is a "Spirit" in the beasts.
When they link up to the big robot, many of the above conditions still apply to it/him. He shows facial reactions, and seems to have a "Will" or extra power to push through in desperate situations, especially if the hearts of the Team are united in the struggle.
So I was wondering if canon material definitively state that this is either an advanced, sentient AI., ala "Samantha" from Her?
Or does the robot possess a type of actual magical "spirit", ala the Power Rangers: Wild Force Wild Zords, which were essentially animal spirits given robotic form on this reality?