If you're anything like us, you probably can't wait for the day you can go to the store and easily (and cheaply) buy a robot to clean your house, wait on you, and do whatever you want.
We know that day is a long way off, but technology is getting better all the time. In fact, some high-tech companies have already developed some pretty impressive robots that make us feel like the future is here already. These robots aren't super-intelligent androids or anything - but hey, baby steps.
From Honda to Google, scientists at companies across the world are working diligently to make real-life robots an actual thing. Their machines can be large, heavy contraptions filled with sensors and wires galore, while other ones are tiny, agile devices with singular purposes such as surveillance. But they're all most certainly real.
Pocket-lint has rounded up real-life robots you can check out right now, with the purpose of getting you excited for the robots of tomorrow. These existing robots give us hope that one day - just maybe - we'll be able to ring a bell in order to call upon a personal robot minion to do our bidding.
Let us know in the comments if you know others worth including.
RoBoHon is a smartphone disguised as a robot. Made by Sharp this bot will go on sale in 2016 as a smartphone, in Japan at least.
The little robot works as a normal phone, with a screen for a belly, but does more. The bot can move and talk for call alerts and more. It even has a projector in its face so it can lean forward and project larger images on surfaces. This could be useful for viewing photos, following a recipe or simply as a novel hands-free option.
How popular this will be worldwide, if it goes on sale outside of Japan, is hard to judge.
ASIMO is a humanoid robot that Honda has been developing for over a decade. It features hand dexterity as well as the ability to run fast, hop, jump, run backward, and climb and descend stairs. ASIMO can also recognise the faces and voices of multiple people speaking and can accurately predict what you'll do next.
Pepper is a Japanese humanoid robot that can sense emotion and exhibit its own feelings. After going on sale in Japan, the robot made by Softbank was sold out in just a minute. Granted, there were only 1,000 to be bought, but they are not cheap. Pepper costs the equivalent of £1,000 plus a £125 monthly fee.
LS3 BigDog is a robot "pack mule" that was developed by Boston Dynamics and is now owned by Google. It's had it's first military outing carrying kit across mixed terrain and the marines are impressed. The LS3 is able to carry 180kg of kit for 20 miles before it runs out of fuel as well as conduct resupply missions.
Spot is the latest robot dog created by Google's Boston Dynamics. He's smaller than the first-generation LS3 Big Dog, but just as capable. Spot is a 73kg electrically-powered and hydraulically-actuated robot that can walk, trot, climb, and take a kick and stay standing. Here's hoping Google adapts it for use by everyone soon.
Robear is a high-tech teddy designed to lift an elderly patient from a bed into a wheelchair. Robear comes from Toshiharu Mukai, a scientist who leads the Robot Sensor Systems Research Team at the Riken-SRK Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research. Robear is the team's third robot bear.
Read more: Riken (source)
Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ is Japan's biggest bank, and it employ robots. Aldebaran Robotics' Nao is a bipedal android that costs around $8,000. You can see one at UFJ's flagship branch near Tokyo station. Nao speaks Japanese, English, and Chinese and can answer your questions about how to open a bank account and more.
Read more: Aldebaran Nao (source)
HitchBOT was a robot created by Ontario makers at Ryerson University. They wanted to see how far it would travel, but it was dismantled in Philadelphia. HitchBOT comprised a camera, battery, motherboard, tablet, GPS, and red eyes. It could also hold basic conversations and throw out tidbits of wisdom while on its travels.
Read more: What is HitchBOT and why was it murdered?
Muruta is the worlds first robot cheerleader. It balances on metal balls and can dancing and flashing lights in unison. It use gyroscopic sensors with inverted-pendulum control to stay upright. It also uses ultrasonic microphones and infrared sensors to detect objects around and determine its relative positions.
Read more: Murata (source)
Athena was the first humanoid robot to have paid for a seat on a plane when it boarded a Lufthansa flight to Germany last Christmas. It was created by PhD student Alexander Herzog and Jeannette Bohg. The all-white robot has a tablet mounted to its chest and can chat with people about their coffee habits and preferences.
Henn na Hotel
A hotel in southwestern Japan, called Weird Hotel, is staffed almost totally by robots to save labor costs. The hotel is called Henn na Hotel in Japanese and was shown to reporters recently, complete with robot demonstrations. One feature demoed was the use of facial recognition instead of e-keys during check-in.
Read more: Henn na Hotel (source)
At the CeBIT expo in Hanover, German software developer Tobit had a booth showcasing two pole dancing robots and a robot DJ with a megaphone for a head. The two bots could dance in time to the music. According to the BBC, you can pick up one of these "stripper" bots right now for just $39,500.
Read more: Ruptly TV (YouTube video)
If you have ¥120,000,000, you can currently buy a rideable mech robot through Amazon Japan. The robot is called Kuratas and looks like something out of Hollywood. It is 3.8 metres tall, weighs 5 tons, and features a BB Gatling gun that can pump out 6,000 rounds per minute. It's also been in development for several years.
Read more: Amazon Japan (source)
A team of Japanese roboticists created a music-performing band of robots called Z-Machines. It has a guitarist with 78 fingers and a drummer with 22 arms. Record label Warp Records said last autumn it would release an album performed by the band. Composer Squarepusher also promised to make music with it.
Read more: Warp (source)
Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering has created a tiny, insect-inspired robots that can stand and jump on water for surveillance missions. The robot isn't yet equipped with surveillance technology, but it was part of a study that had a goal to explore aquatic mobility in a small-scale robot.
Read more: Harvard study (source)
This is a cockroach-inspired robot that took two years to build. Scientists at University of California-Berkeley wanted to create a tiny robot that could navigate rough terrain and small gaps without the use of sensors, so it invented this bug-like robot and published the results in a Bioinspiration & Biomimetics study.
Read more: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics (source)
German company Festo has made a robot kangaroo aptly-titled BionicKangaroo. It has a "tendon" in its leg that propels it forward and harnesses energy on landing. Also, as the legs move forward for landing, the tail is adjusted for balance. When it lands, the legs are spring-loaded by the impact and prepped for another hop.
Read more: Festo (source)
Boston Dynamics created Atlas, a 6-foot humanoid robot, to move like a person. He's been taken outside for testing in the woods and manages to move freely, looking creepily like a ninja.
Kuri by Mayfield Robotics is a $700 robot companion described as "an intelligent robot for the home. It feature Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 1080p camera, facial recognition, microphones, speakers, touch sensors, a "laser-based sensor array", sturdy wheels, and speech recognitio. Kuri makes beeping noises and can move its head and eyes to communicate.
Leka is a $390 robot for special-needs children. It helps them to better understand social and visual cues. It's shaped like a ball and face that changes expressions. It also uses sound, light, and colours to interact. Leka responds with positive images and sounds, such as a smiling face, and it features customizable, multiplayer games based around color identification, picture matching, hide-and-seek, etc.
LG Hub Robot
Hub Robot by LG uses Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa, to play music and answer questions, but it primarily connects with LG's smart appliances, such as oven or washing machine. It features a circular "face" (that can re-orient to face you) with a screen and a white, stationary body. The screen can display images and videos. Pricing information is unavailable.
UBTech's Lynx Robot leverages Amazon's voice assistant to answer your questions, but it can also read your emails and has a camera system so it can check on your home while you're away. It can also recognise faces and change its responses to suit a particular person. Lynx will cost up to $1,000 when it releases in 2017.
Ewaybot's MoRo can move around indoors and outdoors, handle objects ranging from tissues to water bottles, and listen to voice commands. It's about 4-feet tall and weighs 77 pounds. It also has a flame retardant ABS case and about an 8-hour battery life. Unfortunately, it costs a whopping $30,000.
Bosch's Mykie, short for "my kitchen elf," can answer questions, like "What's the weather today?", and it can control connected Bosch appliances like dishwashers. You'll mostly use it to search for recipes with voice commands. Mykie has a control screen, with a set of moving eyes, and a projector so you can project cooking videos onto your kitchen wall. Mykie is in the development stage
ElliQ is described as an "active aging companion". Based on the product's concept video on YouTube, it looks like a two-part setup that includes an Android tablet and an Alexa-like digital assistant and software. With this combination, the elderly can easily connect with friends and family. In an interview with VentureBeat, the company behind ElliQ noted that the robot's unique design, natural movements, and body language can help enable a "unique bond" between ElliQ and its owner. Watch the video here to see ElliQ in action. You'll see that it sits on a desk but can swivel around, deliver verbal notifications, respond to messages, set reminders for meds, answer video calls, monitor activities, etc. ElliQ is still in the development stage.