Robots have come a long way in the last couple of years, climbing down from their great perches over automotive assemblies, out of their cages and through the light curtains to join humans on a neutral turf.
Today's robots are smart and dexterous enough to perform complicated tasks and detailed, sensitive jobs shoulder-to-shoulder with their human counterparts without fear of injury (maybe) or complication.
They have been transformed from mindless, superhuman welders and loaders into coworkers, care providers, partners and comforters. In the process they have changed the very concept of automation and what it can add – or take away – from our lives.
This slideshow presents a few of these new tools and showcases the sci-fi world they are helping make reality.