Willow Garage is a Bay area robot company working on a platform intended to make it easier to build little robots for research and household use. There's a nice writeup about them on Foresight's website.
They are oriented to making an impact on the field of robotics rather than making an immediate profit. Cousins explained it in these terms: the average robotics PhD student spends 90% of his time building a robot and the remaining 10% extending the state of the art. If Willow Garage succeeds, those numbers will be reversed.Neat. I'd love to get a chance to play with one.