Advanced robotics will, like most technologies, most likely wind up being a double-edged sword. While some are excited by the possibilities posed by such advances, others are frightened at the prospect of robots turning into sentient beings in the vein of Terminator 2.
Most experts seem to agree, however, that machines won't turn against us, as they have already become such an integral part of our lives in a way that is expected to grow. There will certainly be negative uses for robotic advances, but the benefits should be strong. We've seen promising developments over the past week in this regard, with the development of the world's smallest flying drones and advancements in bug eye cameras.
With regards to the robotic drones development, Illah R. Nourbakhsh of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University told iTech Post:
"Dr. Wood's work at Harvard is fascinating because it shows how new advances in manufacturing, particularly in the area of micro-electromechanical systems, are going to dramatically redefine the ecology of flying machines that will be all around us over the next few decades.... Wood's work demonstrates major advances on the manufacturing side, and what remains next is for chemists to invent new ways for these tiny robots to store enough energy to do meaningful work. On the military side, this trajectory will eventually lead to robots that can spy undetected because they're too small or too similar to existing insects. Our children may play a game we have never practiced with our grandchildren: "Son, do you think that's a real dragonfly or a drone that's lost its way?".... The advanced manufacturing and miniaturization demonstrated in this project shows just how small our future robot co-habitants can become."
We've also seen robotics take on the creepy ("Boston Dynamics Robot Dons Hazmat Suit In Creepy Video"), the threatening ("DARPA Robotic Hand Can Lift Weights And Take A Beating") and even the strange ("Gangnam Style Dance-Off: Humanoid Robot Shows Off Tech Advances, Slick Moves").
With all of these advances and separate companies chasing the holy grail of robotics, many of the rest of us are left wondering, "Where will these little robots go?"