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The 10 challenges facing the robot future

At the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tokyo. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty

The current apex of useful commercial robots is a vacuum cleaner, and much work is left before machines can assume a more central role, from creating new basic materials to adopting ethical rules for their use, suggests a paper published today.

What's new: Guang-Zhong Yang, a professor at Imperial College London, led a global survey to ferret out the major remaining hurdles facing the field of robotics. The result is a list of 10 challenges (below).