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August 14, 2012 AT 8:21 am

Robotics Companies Look to Near Future

Adafruit 236

Robotics Companies Look to Near Future – Disruptions @ NYTimes.com.

Millions of people watched a robot descend last week on Mars, about 154 million miles away, while it shared video, photos and status updates from its own Twitter account.

I had my own encounter with a robot last week. I had dinner with one — right here in Silicon Valley.

The dinner was at Willow Garage, a robotics company in Menlo Park, and was intended to introduce some reporters to the robots the company is building.

The main attraction was the PR2, which can pick things up, fold laundry, open doors and bring cups, plates and other small objects to people. The PR2 is pretty stunning to see in action. Its price, $400,000 for the fully functional version, is pretty stunning, too. And although it is impressive to watch, it is still easily baffled by the mundane.


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