Rodney Brooks of Heartland Robotics Talks about a New Class of Robot

Few people know what is going on at Heartland Robotics and Mr. Brooks was careful to avoid specifics, but he showed video of robots that faintly resemble Star Wars’ C-3PO. Rodney was speaking at the Robotics Industry Forum.

He spoke of how a world dominated by the Wal-Mart style of business (which he says relies heavily on cheap Chinese labor) might assimilate new types of robotics into the workforce and eliminate the need to outsource.

He’s not the first to predict that robots will be able to see, touch, handle and move product just like laborers in a warehouse, but unlike most he has a track record of success when it comes to selling robots that people use in their homes. He tells us five million Roombas have been sold without a single lawsuit over injuries (to people or their pets), which is an important consideration for the type of robot he proposes.

In 2008, nextbigfuture covered Heartland robotics goal of making low cost industrial robots. The new robots seem to be based on the Obrero robot.