Robots in movies are usually clever, cute, and friendly. But for decades, real-life robots have been basically awkward, clumsy, and really not-so-smart hunks of metal. That’s drastically changed in the last two to three years, as both robot hardware and AI software have improved by leaps and bounds. This year, we’ve seen robots do all kinds of things that were previously the realm of sci-fi. Some are assisting us mere humans at all kinds of mundane tasks, such as making pancakes, folding laundry, forming new habits, and finding beer pong buddies. Others are extending human capabilities, especially in the area of prosthetics (seethis drummer who plays better with his new robot hand than his original one) and surgery. Still, others are all-out replacing what humans do: Today, robots can be security guards, bus drivers, farmers, and journalists—and they haven’t hit their limit yet.