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A Quiet Robot Invasion?

I’m slightly obsessed with the video above, which is a promotion for Honda’s Asimo, the world’s most sophisticated humanoid robot. I’ve watched it at least 8 or 9 times. Sure, it’s a machine, but the way this piece is made, I can’t help but find it beautiful. Even the way Asimo moves around the museum makes you feel as if he is actually curious and full of wonder. Of course, Asimo isn’t the only robot diplomat out there. Check out some of the related videos to see some of the other “humanoid” robots being created.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of fairly sophisticated robot toys available. Some of the more well known ones are Sony’s Aibo, the robotic dog, and Pleo, the robotic dinosaur.

But some robots are earning their keep! You can even own one, if you’re not too creeped out by the idea of having a little robot scooting around your home. The Roomba is a small disc-shaped robot that vacuums your floors on its own (created by a company called iRobot, of course). Some large businesses are using similar robots, like Zappos.com, which uses over 70 small robots to organize and stock it’s massive Kentucky warehouse.

Ok, but those are just dumb robots, right? They only do simple operations that people don’t want to do anyway. No big deal right? Don’t be so sure… Check out Adam, the automated scientist created by a team at Aberystwyth University and the University of Cambridge, which performs biology experiments on its own, or the computer program developed by researchers at Cornell, which discovered the laws of motion from observing a pendulum’s swings.

From robotic diplomats, to toys, to simple worker machines, to scientists, the robots are slowly moving in! Worried? This futurist isn’t.

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