While we're usually content to watch the slow, inevitable progress towards humanoid
robots, the researchers behind this EL-E bot might very well be on to something. Instead of making a robot that acts like humans, they've built a robot that chases around the dot made by your laser pointer, and picks up whatever you point at with his crane. Not exactly on the path to replicants, but perhaps that's a good thing -- a bot that can pick up stuff you aim at and bring it to you is much more useful in the here and now. Plus EL-E yells out stuff like "Bob's your uncle" when he completes tasks, and if that isn't progress we don't know what is.