When you hear the word “robot” what comes to mind? Probably a metal, humanoid machine—something like C-3PO from Star Wars, Rosie the Robot Maid from The Jetsons, or perhaps one of the menacing Terminator robots.

At a Harvard University lab, I saw some surprising inventions that challenge our popular images of robots. One robot I wore like a glove. Another you could pull on like a pair of pants. Some robots had spongy arms that could pick up the most delicate objects. And others were so tiny and light they could take to the air on paper-thin wings, like insects.

These incredible creations are powerful examples of the exciting innovation underway in the field of robotics. They were also a reminder that while science fiction writers may lead us to fear a future of Terminator-style robots, robotics discoveries have far greater potential to improve our lives. They could offer physical support and assistance, help with search and rescue efforts, and meet medical and other technological challenges.


 

Read the full article on Gates Notes: The Blog of Bill Gates.