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A BigDog robot at Boston Dynamics in 2010. The BigDog is being developed to help soldiers carry heavy equipment in the field. It can follow a human being, walking across wet/sandy/rocky terrain, just like a dog would. Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe via Getty Images

The RoboRoach device allows users to influence the movements of cockroaches with a smartphone. Backyard Brains hide caption

itoggle caption Backyard Brains

Baxter is billed by its makers as a "collaborative manufacturing robot." It can work alongside humans to do simple, repetitive tasks. © Stephen F. Bevacqua/Courtesy of Rethink Robotics hide caption

itoggle caption © Stephen F. Bevacqua/Courtesy of Rethink Robotics

Joe Kummer, president of Propulsive Wing in Elbridge, N.Y., is rooting for having a drone test site in upstate New York. He says it could save him trips to the West Coast to try out new drone prototypes. Ryan Delaney/WRVO hide caption

itoggle caption Ryan Delaney/WRVO

Car companies are picking up automobile concepts such as this Lexus SL 600 Integrated Safety driverless research vehicle, shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January in Las Vegas. Julie Jacobson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Julie Jacobson/AP

The "RoboSimian" from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has the advantage of being able to grasp things with all four limbs, like a chimp. It will compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

itoggle caption NASA/JPL-Caltech