We all saw robots in movies. In the beginning, bots were just metal things that looked funny. As the time passed, movies became more advanced, movie robots had more functions and they acted like humans more often. Great examples were 3CPO and R2D2 from Star wars and finally Data from Star trek. OK, those shows were science fiction and today's robots still are not that advanced.
Neverheless, modern bots have great roll in our lives. Robotics is advocating pretty fast. It is because electronics and mechanics are the areas that advances fast too. One more area that is directly affecting robotics is IT. Software development made possible to program the robot for doing complicated tasks. First programmable robots had software in VAL language. After that, there were Roboforth, RoboLogix, URBI etc. Nowadays there were software with GIs and user friendly interfaces that allow easy programming of some robot kits. Now everyone can program robot kits, not just IT geeks.
Because of that, there are all kinds of robot kits on market. You can find basic kits for a few bucks and expert ones that can mimic human movements and do complicated tasks. Depending on your budget, you can get all sorts of interesting robots, program them and have fun. Scare your dog or cat for example. Robotics became a great hobby for every generation. Most famous area is Robot wars. People build bots and attach deadly weapons on them (deadly to other robots of course). There are communities that organizes robot battles and tournaments. Winners get very profitable prices.
Beside hobby robot kits, there are robots that help handicap people, build cars and computers, help in the farms, help collecting data for astronauts and every other area that you can think of. There is no product on the market that is designed or developed without help of robot. People do not have to do hard work and being in hazardous conditions any more. There are robots that help to find survivors and are great addition to rescue squads like Gemini Scout. Most affordable ones are robot vacuum cleaners. They certainly help in houses and save your time.
In one sentence, robots became irreplaceable devices in our lives. We do not notice that, but if all the robots suddenly stop working, we would have a big problems. Who knows what brings the future. All we know, robots will be more and more advanced, and it will affect us even more. Let's just hope that Terminator Scenario will not happen.