This talk will discuss the current state of the art in robotics and particularly focus on the directions that robotics is taking and the impact it will have on our society in the near future. Exciting robotics research will be briefly surveyed. The talk will additionally discuss the National Robotics Initiative whose goal is to accelerate the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside, or cooperatively with, people. This initiative was recently launched by President Obama and has significant participation from all major funding agencies. The talk will also give an overview of the Robotics-VirtualOrganization co-founded by Dr. Christensen – an American robotics network seeded by NSF with a mandate to become self-sufficient in a year.