The year has just begun, but it can already lay claim to some important robotic milestones:
First of all, this month marks the sixth anniversary of NASA's Spririt and Opportunity Mars robots. As you may remember from last year's interview with Julie Townsend, the rovers were originally designed to explore Mars for about three months - but have now already lasted more than 6 Earth yearsin the severe Martian environment.
Second, following last year's successful navigation of Willow Garage's PR2 robot, the robot has now further extended its skill set to include learning new motor skills from human demonstration.
Third, sales of home robots by Massachussets based company iRobot have now surpassed five million units since its debut in 2002.