Sometimes life sucks.
So a friend of mine was hosting my web server in his garage because he had a T1 for business reasons. I and a couple of friends were sharing some of that bandwidth. Then one Sunday morning something in the garage caught fire and the whole garage, web servers and all, were totalled. (And I mean melted kind of totaled!)
Well I've been a number of hours re-constructing my web site, putting together another machine, and arguing with SBCGlobal about DSL service (not T-1 but its better than dialup!) So what does this have to do with robots? Exactly this:
I want a robot I can put near my machine that "watches" for fire and then sprays halon (or non-CFC equivalent) at the fire and screams at the top of its little sonalert lungs. This is because the probable cause of the fire was one of those ubiquitous "wall wart" things catching on fire. I've got a ton of those in my lab at home and I don't want to suffer the same fate as my buddies garage.
Why a robot? Because it has to be portable, and I'd like it to be able to move back and forth across a constrained area looking for "problems." If it had a web cam and could send pictures when it was alerting that would be good too. I don't want to retrofit my house with sprinklers and I surely don't want to rain on my lab (although that is preferable to melting!)
Other than that my robotics activities have been focussed on some interesting balancing stuff (a balancing robot really draws a crowd where ever it goes) and more casting work.