As of this week, they're finally available to the general public. The helper robots we've been seeing in sci-fi movies for years are here to fold your laundry, wash your dog, care for your elderly relatives, and lie to your spouse--if you have $400,000, that is.
The open-source PR2 robot from Willow Garage stands about 5 feet tall, has two articulated arms and stereo vision, and is apparently very smart. The bots can be programmed to undertake tons of jobs using more than 1,000 software libraries, if you're up to the task.
Right now, the robots are too expensive for most of us, but that doesn't mean that you won't be able to get your hands on one sometime in the near future.
I know I'm looking forward to the day when I can afford my own helper bot (I actually have a monthly robot budget, but I end up blowing it on special-edition Transformers.). Anyway, I know what the first thing I'd do with my PR2 is, though I'm not sharing. It is a personal robot, after all.
But what about you, faithful Crave readers? If you could afford one of these bots, or if you somehow were fortunate enough to receive one as a gift, what would you program it do first? Vote in our poll, and if you choose the "Other" option, be sure to tell us in the comments section what you'd want your PR2's top priority to be.