The register has good article called "Why do robot experts build such lousy robots?" which explorers some of the less talked about aspects of this "cusp of a revolution", such as why "making and playing with robots evidently beats using and ignoring them" and Thrun's "apparently simple challenge: how a computer vision system might detect moving objects and predict their motion, a task at which frogs are still in the lead".
Most of it is bang on, but there are some hopeful signs out there in machine learning (most of which fall into the overflowing "soon to be released" category.
Sentience stereo vision slam
braintech volts-iq *** ITS ALIVE! ***
SRI Slam as a webservice
Incremental of Linear Model trees PDF
[*** Update June 12th 2007] Volts-IQTM Community Technical Preview
is released. Look forward to checking it out...