Robots have been imagined in popular science fiction for decades. These devices have always fascinated us and held great promise as a technology. Real robots have been a long time coming, and sometimes it seems like robots have gone the way of the flying car and the hoverboard. However, practical, useful robots are on the horizon and robotic technologies are already in some of the devices we use in our daily lives. If these devices are going to succeed, we need to step back and think about the design implications of robots and intelligent machines working in our world. Not only does this include considering the physical and interaction design, but also the robot’s impact on our social ecosystem. In doing so, we can help focus the engineering problem space and bring advanced technologies out of the lab and into the world.

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