Robots like the PR2, from the Menlo Park, CA-based Willow Garage, perform a variety of tasks: bringing objects to people, opening doors, and even folding laundry. And while companies including iRobot create technologies to take care of minor jobs such as cleaning floors and pools, others like Boston Dynamics are building robots that will take over for soldiers in battle. Many in the robotics field say that price of these types of technologies will begin to drop sharply, and lead to a greater, widespread use.

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