At a recent demo of iCub at the Italian Institute of Culture in Los Angeles, IIT Professor and director of the iCub project, Giorgio Metta discussed not only iCub's progress, but the state of the art in robotics as well. Metta recently did a TEDxMilano Talk on the subject (Italian only).
One standout slide from his presentation was the one above – click to enlarge. The chart compares the apps that people want versus the abilities that robotics presently has to fulfill those apps. We've got our work cut out for us!
iCub is a humanoid robot that can see and hear, has a sense of self-awareness and a capacitive skin system. The goal of iCub is to study cognition through the implementation of a humanoid robot the size of a 3-1/2 year old child. Over 20 labs around the world are participating in the open source project.