Robotics just amazes me. The potential to create assistive devices to make life for the disabled easier, or to make dangerous jobs safer, that is the real payoff. It also scares the hell out of me. Terminator and iRobot are certainly plausible in the abstract sense of self-aware robots. But I digress
Festo, a German company, has been toying around with robotics for awhile now. And it seems they are going in the right direction by using dear ol’ Mother Nature as the model for some of their experiments. Check out their robotics section on their website – link
If you wanna read about their projects and can’t read German, each little project has a PDF brochure in English. Nothing too technical but it does give a cursory explanation of the mechanics behind most of the projects.