Much as we might be very far from the kinds of robot dependant societies we see in Star Wars and so forth, robots are being utilised all over the place in today's world. Their uses range from military manoeuvres with guns to crawling into caves in Afghanistan to seek out Taliban fighters to detecting faces and interpreting basic expressions.
Rubi, a teacher's assistant at the Early Childhood Education Center in San Diego, is part of an experiment to study how robots and humans interact. Rubi is capable of tracking heads, detecting faces and interpreting basic expressions. Additionally, it can teach songs and--through the touch-screen--conjure up interactive games.