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RoboBusiness show points way to future advances

Marc Perton
Marc Perton|May 12, 2005 6:30 AM
Roomba Discovery

We're still waiting for the all-purpose robot servant that can cook our meals, do our laundry and clean our house, but in the meantime, we'll have to make do with the more humble offerings that were on display this week at the annual RoboBusiness conference in Cambridge, Mass. News.com points out that iRobot, maker of the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner, boasted that it has sold 1.5 million units, and is developing an explosives-disposal robot for the U.S. military. iRobot Chairman and Co-founder Helen Greiner pointed to a positive future for personal robots: "The question is no longer, Will you have a robot in your home in the future? But instead, How many?" Other exhibitors included Sony (which showed off the latest Aibos, of course), Microsoft and John Deere. No servants, but we're still encouraged; any robotics "show that has briefings with titles like "New Species Engineering" and "Personal Robots Arise!" is okay by us.