The future of robotics is soft and modular, or at least that's they way some of the robotics gurus at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne envision things moving. Rigid robots are fine, but true versatility in the robotic medium will come from modular robots that are flexible enough in form that they can adapt to task and environment.
Flying robots are adept aviators, flipping through small openings, building structures and playing tennis. But what goes up must come down, and sometimes it’s not exactly as planned. A new flying robot can survive a crash, picking itself back up and taking flight again.
The growing space junk problem in various orbits around the Earth gets plenty of ink these days, particularly when the ISS has to fire its thrusters to dodge a piece of a satellite, or when a defunct satellite smashes into a perfectly good, multimillion dollar piece of orbital communications hardware.