As robots increasingly migrate from heavy industrial tasks, like welding automobile chassis on assembly lines, to home uses as restless toys and venturesome vacuum cleaners, a fetching personality and appealing appearance become critically important.

Many of the robotic toys shown at the American International Toy Fair last month in New York were engineered to conceal their joints and metallic jowls beneath furry pelts and cute doll faces. Even traditional robots were packed with more personality than previous models.

The article goes on to talk about the emotional attachment some people feel for their Roomba vacuum cleaners and Scooba floor washers.

Featured robots:

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