Wired magazine has a neat article about robots that derive their form and function from the animal kingdom. I particularly like the robot dog developed by DARPA. I think that it is neat that the engineers have looked at the natural world and the millions of years that evolution has used to winnow down a great design. Sometimes the answers to problems are right in front of our face (or heeling by our side), if we just look.
My oldest boy has been hinting around about getting a new dog. I am not sure if he would be happy if I brought home one of these though. . .