PR2, our favorite beer-fetching, laundry-folding robot helper, has learned how to read text.
One PR2, owned by the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Lab, can pronounce his name — "Graspy" — and can helpfully point out the location of restrooms and professors' offices. Too bad he can't quite pronounce the word "robot."
Having a computer for a brain has its perks, but it has its drawbacks as well. Language is a tough concept for robots, as words can convey the abstract as well as the concrete and robots have trouble knowing the difference (and grasping the abstract). That makes human-machine interaction less than intuitive for humans and confusing to 'bots.