The upcoming RailsConf 2007 is not the only revolutionary conference that is going on this week. At that epicenter of robotics and artificial intelligence research Boston, MA is the RoboBusiness Conference and Expo featuring everybody who is anybody in the biz such as iRobot.
CNET has a pretty good interview with Rodney Brooks, the CTO of iRobot. Despite the popularity of the Roomba, the robotics revolution has hardly begun. Brooks makes the interesting observation that not only will we see more autonomous robots wandering around like the Roomba, but even more embedded robotics like the self-parking feature on the Lexus.
Ultimately, he sees a cyborg society, where we are merged with our robots. It's a rather utopian vision, like that of Ray Kurzweil and the Singularity. I am also an optimist...at worst, the robots will keep us as pets.