For many years robots have been an indispensable part of industrial production. Over the next three years 1.3 million additional production robots will enter service. How far has research in robotics and artificial intelligence come? In what direction is development going? Will robots replace humans one day? A conversation with Frank Kirchner, Head of Research Department of the Robotics Innovation Center at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence in Karlsruhe, on the state of things.