Great lecture last night at the University of Washington by Blake Hannaford and Mika Sinanan on their research toward developing battlefield robots -- telerobotic "trauma pods" that can stabilize patients for transport without requiring medical workers on the scene. It seems this is much closer to being real than I'd have imagined.
It was not that long ago that Blake and I were constructing robots from erector sets.
Blake has been using an infrared sensing gun in the kitchen; you can point it, for example, at your frying oil and get an instant, no-contact read of your actual temperature. Great idea!