A kinder, gentler, smarter Frankenstein may soon be mowing your lawn and folding your unmentionables. Manufacturers are developing a new generation of metallic humanoid that will not only carry heavy objects, but pull their weight around the house and at work, the Economist reports. These new-age robots can touch, see, and may even respond to commands.
The technology marries mechanics, optics, computers, and electronics, producing robots reliable enough for human interaction. Safety, however, remains an issue. “One of our goals is to move robots from the factory to the home without any safety fence,” said an engineer. Falling production costs mean that a robot could soon be polishing its metallic cousin at a home near you.