For a long time, they were just the stuff of science fiction movies. But as time goes by, robots are entering our daily lives: They're found in factories, in hospitals, in storehouses and even in agriculture.
The European Union has supported the development of robots to the tune of several hundred million euros. The industry is expected to grow radically in the coming years.
Pro-tip for using an Amazon Echo - ask it about the meaning of life. The answer may surprise you. But questions around automation itself abound - even if they're a little bit more practical. At Innorobo, the annual robotics event in Paris, robotmakers are asking themselves what it would take for consumers to accept more robots into their lives.
When the smart lights in your home start blinking of their own accord, or your toaster starts ejecting your bread slices at an unusual pace, you might have a problem with ghosts. Or with a hacker accessing your smart home devices. The security issues surrounding ubiquitous connectivity is a big topic at the CeBit tech fair in Hannover, but one that also hits close to home.
Britain continues its march towards Brexit and an unknown future. Many have deep reservations about leaving Europe, they fear it will cause a severe economic downturn. But some analysts are pointing to a potential - and unexpected - upside. If EU immigration into the UK falls dramatically after Britain pulls out, British productivity could soar, because of plans for a new, mechanized, workforce.
Manufacturers of smart toys "My Friend Cayla" and the "i-QUE" robot have come under fire for subjecting children to "ongoing surveillance." Bluetooth connections also enable strangers to contact kids through the toys.