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Where robot-makers go wrong

A quarter century ago, Colin Angle set out with two MIT colleagues with ambitions of putting walking robots in space. Today, Angle, CEO of iRobot, has settled for the world's best-selling robotic vacuum cleaner, the Roomba. It's not space, but, with about 16 million sold over the last 15 years, the Roomba is one of the best-selling consumer robots of any type ever.

Angle's message for commercial robot-makers: go short cool and complex; go long rugged, reliable and simple.