By Simon Ings
Back on Earth, the robots are almost as smart. This, says Kate Darling in The New Breed (Allen Lane), means we should give some serious thought to our future relationships with them. Darling celebrates our ability to bond with those outside our own species (soldiers have mourned the loss of bomb disposal robots, and Darling mentions one trooper who sprinted under gunfire to rescue a fallen robot). But she reminds us that robots, unlike animals, are designed by people, and could be used to exploit our better nature.