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					                                 Rosie's granddaughter?

 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
 Fifty years after The Jetsons gave Americans a futuristic world of
flying cars and the robot housekeeper Rosie, technology is starting to
catch up with fantasy. Next year, the Massachusetts company iRobot plans
to roll out Ava, a 5-foot-4 personal assistant with an iPad or an
Android tablet for a brain and Xbox motion sensors to help her get
around. Early versions will cost in the tens of thousands of dollars and
will be used mostly in hospitals, but investments from technology giants
like Apple and Google could make such robots less expensive over time.
In the past decade, iRobot has developed some impressive bots, from the
Roomba vacuum cleaner to bomb-disposal models for protecting American
soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. But getting machines to mimic human
behaviors is difficult. The hope is that Ava's video and computing
advances will allow it to someday handle most household chores-maybe
even washing our flying cars.


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posted:7/6/2012
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