Is the robot future now?
Robots are already ingrained in our daily lives, from farming to digging to warehouse shelving, Berreby finds. In one example, a robot in Japan (above right, with its inventor) does the traveling and errands for a secretary with limited mobility, who directs it remotely from her Tokyo home (above left). These increasingly capable machines are often taking over tough, repetitive work that would be grueling and unrewarding for people. Not only are robots looking more like us, they are edging into our creative and spiritual lives. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic raging, people are seeing added value in mechanical workers that can deliver food, disinfect surfaces, and enforce social distancing without compromising anyone’s health.
Of course, this robot