While Japan’s “Robot of the Year” for 2007 is a rather dull mechanical arm, albeit an arm capable of grabbing 120 items-per-minute from a conveyor belt, 2007 did have some nice robot related developments, neatly rounded up in this link.
I still love the Toyota/Honda people robots. These are advancing really well now.
Earlier this month, Toyota unveiled the latest in its line of “partner robots”: the aptly named Violin-playing Robot, which can hold the string instrument in place with its left hand and move the bow with its right hand to produce music. The roughly 5-foot, 123 lb. (1.5-meter, 56 kg) humanoid joins walking and rolling robots the company introduced in 2004, which are capable of playing the trumpet. Toyota rival Honda also this month introduced advancements to its humanoid, ASIMO (first introduced in 2005) , that allow it to perform tasks such as carrying a tray and pushing a cart while simultaneously employing an eye camera to detect the speed and direction of humans and other ASIMOs to avoid collisions. The new ASIMO also knows when its battery levels are low and will automatically return to its base to recharge.