theodp writes: The rich are different; the geek rich are different-er. The WSJ's Emily Glazer reports that when Richard Garriott de Cayeux threw a costume party the night before his wedding in Paris, his 82-year-old mother — too frail to travel from her Las Vegas home — still dressed up as an Indian princess and attended the party using a $9,700 personal-presence robot from Anybots Inc. At the wedding reception the next day, Mama Garriott shook her robootie on the dance floor, encircled by kids and family. Telepresence robots aren't just for the likes of Sergey Brin anymore — companies like VGo, Xaxxon, Willow Garage, and iRobot have introduced personal-presence robots that range in price from $270 for a simple model to $50,000 for a machine that allows doctors to diagnose illnesses remotely. And, as an old NY Times article noted, they can also make fine Robot Overlords.
The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland";
but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.