A Computerworld article notes robots as one of six disruptive technologies that intelligence officials will warn the next president about. Their upcoming report is expected to be similar to the disruptive civil technologies report issued by National Intelligence Council in April. Among the major points are that most of the building blocks needed for robots are in place now including sensors, actuators, and power systems. Software is reaching the point where autonomous vehicular applications are possible. They note the near term possibilities of soldiers augmented by robotic exoskeletons, the possibility that terrorists will make use of robots designed for commercial civil jobs, and the longer term possibility for social disruption as robots begin to work side-by-side with humans in jobs like elder-care. More details can be found in the report's Service Robot appendix (PDF format). The appendix notes that Japan currently leads in robot technology with the US in second place, and the EU in third. There are also specific predictions that are a bit amusing like "2011 - WowWee releases Robosapien v10, a toy robot that can recognize and fetch items belonging to the user from around the home".