MODERN ROBOTS ARE not unlike toddlers: It's hilarious to watch them fall over, but deep down we know that if we laugh too hard, they might develop a complex and grow up to start World War III. None of humanity's creations inspires such a confusing mix of awe, admiration, and fear: We want robots to make our lives easier and safer, yet we can't quite bring ourselves to trust them. We're crafting them in our own image, yet we are terrified they'll supplant us.
But that hesitation is no obstacle to the booming field of robotics. Robots have finally grown smart enough and physically capable enough to make their way out of factories and labs to walk and roll and even leap among us. The machines have arrived.
You may be worried a robot is going to steal your job, and we get that. This is capitalism, after all, and automation is inevitable. But you may be more likely to work alongside a robot in the near future than have one replace you. And even better news: You're more likely to make friends with a robot than have one murder you. Hooray for the future!