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By the end of 2007, some 4.1 million domestic robots will likely be in use, the study says. Vacuum cleaners will still make up the majority, but window-washing and pool-cleaning robots are set to take off, it predicts.
Now regarding the Eco II bot, I wouldn't advise putting it in your home. It may use flies as fuel however 'the downside of the fully autonomous robot: it will have to use sewage or excrement to attract the flies and is bound to smell appalling.'
There are already many industrial robots that build cars and other stuff at manufacturing plants because they're quicker, stronger, more accurate than humans which directly impacts the bottom line(sell more, what wage?).
A robot can be in the form of anything though but would have to be immediately useful, durable, and economic otherwise it will just be another "toy".
How about a fly robot that is a digital camera instead of a robot that can fly and use a digital camera? :P
Do you recall 30 some years ago all the talk about picture phones being so common soon. It never came to pass even on a very small scale.
Here is Los Angeles you can barely walk down the street without tripping over some goon talking on their mobile picture phone. Oh they're here, alright.
Personal robots are for sale in most Radio Shacks, Fry's, and other electronics distributors worldwide. Some really excellent ones are priced less than $300 ... including the computer!
My favorite is built by a company in Pasadena. It recognizes text visually, so you can hold up a sign or a picture and trigger its programming. And it uses Python for its programming language, so you can do some pretty wild stuff with it.
I use it for holding up a sign that says "beer", then it wheels away, navigating through my house by using little reflective tape checkpoints on my walls, opens the fridge, grabs the beer, and returns to me. I hang a bottle opener on it with a piece of string.
wow, you're my hero. i definately need one of those :)
Not to mention NetMeeting, webcam chatting, et al.
[edited by: StupidScript at 8:44 pm (utc) on Oct. 21, 2004]