Disruptions: dining with robots in Silicon Valley

August 13, 2012

The PR2 robot (credit: Willow Garage)

The next wave of robots to enter the home and work force will be remote-controlled telepresence robots, suggests Steve Cousins, president/CEO  of Willow Garage, Nick Bilton reports in New York Times Bits.. They will be given more functional bodies, including arms, so they can interact in a physical space.

Robert S. Bauer, an executive director at Willow Garage, predicted that the first wave of robots would most likely become “the body for people with physical disabilities.”

Other possible applications for robots in the near future include robots that drive cars and prepare food, swarms of fly-size robots that could patrol a home or office like guards, and robots like Willow Garage’s PR2 that can pick things up, fold laundry, open doors and bring cups, plates and other small objects to people.