Upcoming Future Robots

Some scientists believe that robots will be able to approximate human-like intelligence in the first half of the 21st century. Even before such theoretical intelligence levels are obtained, it is speculated that robots may begin to replace humans in many labor-intensive career fields. The cybernetics pioneer Norbert Wiener discussed some of these issues in his book The human use of human beings (1950), in which he speculated that robots taking over human jobs may initially lead to growing unemployment and social turmoil, but that in the medium-term it might bring increased material wealth to people in most nations.

Robotics will probably continue its spread in offices and homes, replacing "dumb" appliances with smart robotic equivalents. Domestic robots capable of performing many household tasks, described in science fiction stories and coveted by the public in the 1960s, are likely to be eventually perfected.

There is likely to be some degree of convergence between humans and robots. Some humans are already cyborgs with some body parts and even parts of the nervous system replaced by artificial analogues, such as Pacemakers. In many cases the same technology might be used both in robotics and in medicine.

Although not strictly robotics, there has been study in this area by Professor Kevin Warwick.

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