Kiplinger Report suggests the following eight areas of robotics that will become commonplace in the very near future:
(1) Search and rescue; (2) food processing and handling; (3) guides and receptionists; (4) quality control; (5) exoskeletons; (6) couriers; (7) laundry processing; (8) mobile telepresence workstations.
See article about Willow Garage and their telepresence robots.
Also very likely to happen near-term are agricultural robots for monitoring, pruning, thinning and even picking produce. CMU and the USDA are at the forefront of American activity, as is immigration policy, but it is a worldwide happening with breakthroughs in France, Australia, NZ and Israel frequently in the news.