This fall, people in South Korea will get an opportunity to take 1000 wheeled robots for a test drive with their cellular phones. The government sponsored project called the ubiquitous robotic companion (URC) runs from September to December and will place the remote-controlled robots in households and kindergarden facilities.
The URC robots will help clean rooms, take care of pets and even read books for kids. But the most impressive feature may be the surveillance feature that will take pictures of unwanted guests and then beam them to the owner's cellular phone.
The robots will eventually sell for $1000 to $2000, a pretty reasonable price made possible because most of the software runs from servers connected to the Internet.
The South Korean government hopes to have robots in all households by 2020.