One of the long-standing debates among roboticists is whether we'll end up with general-purpose humanoid robots or highly-specialized, task-specific robots (or both!). In other words, will we ask a humanoid robot to open a door for us or will we ask a door to open itself. A new MIT Technology Review article describes the research of Project Oxygen's pervasive-computing group. The idea is to integrate computers directly into our everyday environment including desks, windows, walls, and doors. They're also working on methods of communicating our needs to these ubiquitous computers naturally by talking or gesturing.