The potential of robotics to assist mankind has long since moved from the realms of science fiction to take prominent roles in the manufacturing and service sectors. Increasing connectivity means robots will soon become a major part of many people’s lives, predicts Rodney Brooks, founder, Chairman and CTO of Rethink Robotics.

He says that being connected – whether machine-to-machine or person-to-machine – enables robots to move from being isolated units to units that can be controlled and repaired from distance.

Citing aging population demographics in Europe, North America and China, Brooks says robots will have an increasing role to play in home care and residential facilities for the elderly, performing many of the "dull" tasks that currently take the time of health professionals.

Brooks also examines the role that networks will have to play regarding how robots are used in the future and looks at the perceived threat they pose.