To follow up my second technology-related blog of the day after the Sony eBook device, making the rounds via delivery truck on the Internet is news of French firm Aldebaran Robotics announcing the Nao Project.
As we've discussed many times before, the early to mid-1980's featured a type of personal robotics boom to rival that of the personal computer boom. The difference was the computer boom kept on going, while the robotics boom stalled, taking corporate interest with it.
As a lifetime technophile primarily interested in computers and videogames, another area that has always intrigued me, but been generally hands-off due to the various barriers to entry, is home robotics. There were some delightful robots and kits in the early to mid-80's to go along with the personal computer boom. However, the personal robotics boom was short lived and ultimately a much smaller niche than even the fledgling personal computer business at the time, dooming them to the domain of the truly hardcore. Today, toy and personal robots and robot kits from the likes of Tomy and Heathkit are still very much in demand. Much more recently, Lego made a strong impact in the home robotics and hobbyist field with their Mindstorms technology and Radio Shack carries an aggressive line of kit robots and accessories. Bottom line, today hobbyist robotics is stronger than ever and more practical than ever, though is still awaiting that "killer app" to truly push it into the mainstream.