Just like the computer revolution started in 1970s, today we see the preliminary applications of robots that are soon likely to invade our offices and homes. Even though the robots like we know form movies such as The Terminator or I-Robot may still seem to be far away, the trend is going toward more and more personal robots all the time, by increasing capability of software and AI. The first major obstacle in way of personal robotics development is the lack of standards so far.
The next major development still needs to be done in the field of AI. See the article here in computerworld.com which gives a pretty good summary of where we are now and where we are likely to be in the coming 20 years. What is most likely to happen is, before seeing super intelligent robots like the Terminator, we are much more likely to see robots that are capable of doing only specific tasks, such as washing the dishes or sweeping floor or holding some basic intelligent conversation. And only after the significant improvements in AI and software we will see such robots.
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