New technologies spread arrival of robots into our lives

Robots, it seems, are everywhere ”” ranging from microbots, which are tiny black dots to the naked eye, to bots that resemble bees and bats, to gigantic models.

Titan, a 9-foot rental robot, is being carted out at marketing events, even a Rihanna concert, to mingle with the masses. New York University graduate student Marko Manriquez recently built a robot that makes burritos. And scientists at University of Tokyo’s Ishikawa Oku Labs designed a robot that specializes in, and wins, rock-paper-scissors games.

Experts predict that within 10 years, general-purpose robots ”” at $25,000 to $30,000 per unit ”” will perform house chores while consumers are at work; or serve as butlers at cocktail parties. “We are putting robots into people’s lives,” says Sarjoun Skaff, co-founder and chief technology officer of Bossa Nova Robotics, which is developing a robot maid modeled after The Jetsons’ Rosie for less than $5,000.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology