The U.S. Army's civilian director of ground combat systems, Kevin Fahey kicked off the fifth annual RoboBusiness conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The gathering of robotics company insiders heard praise during Fahey's keynote address. "Any time you can get out of harm's way, you're interested," he said. "Even though I'm trained to go into that cave, I'd much rather have that robot go in." In 2004 the army was using 162 robots, the number grew to 5,000 in 2007 and will be up to 6,000 in total this year. iRobot's Chief Executive says "We really don't have the killer application yet to drive things," he said. "There is obviously the opportunity here to do more." As a very satisfied owner of an iRobot Roomba I'll add that "Even though I'm trained to vacuum the living room floor, I'd much rather have the robot go in" Now when is iRobot going to release a lawn mowing robot? CBC story here.