Where we are in robot technology, and where we're going; what's possible and what's not. The juxtaposition of actual and future robots with the wishful thinking they engender form the hub of this book. Their importance, it is stressed, is not in the unlikely happening of their bringing us grapes as we lounge, but in their capacity to do boring or dangerous tasks and their machine-like willingness to work in conditions not amenable to humans. This means the reality of satellites in space and robots that work underwater and in factories. Lauber uses everyday examples to explain clearly that robots can do only what they are programmed to do, and further, that their work is limited by inability to see complexities that humans easily master. Thus, future excitement will lie not with home robots, but from the possibilities of painting bridges, cleaning large expanses, fighting fires, and exploring space. While there's sure to be a letdown in finding out that robots are not the pets of the 90's, readers are urged to do what robots cannot--""dream big dreams, set goals, and reach them if you really try.