Helen Greiner, 31
These days, robots are typically used in limited, specialized roles. But if Helen Greiner and Colin Angle have anything to say about that, robots may soon be a more versatile and ubiquitous part of our lives. Greiner and Angle are two of the founders of IS Robotics. Working for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval Research, IS Robotics has built a number of innovative robots designed to detect mines, retrieve unexploded bombs, swim like fish--even walk up walls. The company's focus isn't solely on the military, though: IS Robotics recently signed a contract with Hasbro to develop interactive robots as future toys, and is working with the oil exploration industry and other industries. As president of the company and head of research, Greiner has been able to balance the company's business and research needs. "Helen is an innovator in technology, government research and business," says Rodney Brooks, director of MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and a co-founder of the company. In her position at IS, she is one of the leaders of an effort to develop networked robots that Brooks says will become "the eyes, ears and arms of the Internet."