Robot Trash Collectors Are Roaming the Streets of Italy (w/ Video) [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swrwe4NYG4o]YouTube - Futuris - Robots designed to roam city streets[/ame] It starts innocently enough. Cute robots traveling around Italy picking up garbage, helping to keep the city clean. But this is a SkyNet waiting to happen. Within ten years the world will be theirs! Seriously though, this is a wicked cool story. I can't help but wonder what it means for the future of autonomous robotics. I imagine it won't be long before machines like this become commonplace, performing all sorts of routine tasks. And from there, I don't think it will be particularly long -- perhaps, 50 years -- before we get machines that look, sound and act nearly exactly the same as humans. In any case, what do you think? Do you think this is just a prototype that's going to remain isolated to the streets of Italy, or do you think this is the beginning of a paradigm shift to a more automatic world?