Many people trust robots will be part of their future, yet medical robots are in widespread use today. Already, robotic technologies assist human doctors when making diagnoses and providing treatment. From surgery to rehabilitation, robots have begun to perform complex procedures that in many cases could not be accomplished by mere human hands.

The following slideshow reveals how medical robots are employed today. Going forward, these technologies will develop and change and inevitably be used in even more astounding ways. Perhaps, then, it’s time for an evolution in our thinking about these human-like machines.

In all likelihood, future robots may not appear in the usual cartoon conceptions we've grown accustomed to and they may enter our lives in more subtle, more complex ways than we currently imagine. They may be seamlessly woven into the fabric of our daily lives, for instance, or they may be so small as to be largely unseen. Although today they may be remarkable, already beyond your dreams, be warned: These current conceptions should not limit your imagination as to what a robot may someday become.