I must admit I have very mixed feelings about the ultimate social value of robotics. If we replace peoples jobs with robotics then we have to guarantee them a living minimum level of subsistence whether they work or not. If you do not do this eventually the society will collapse. However, none of our governmental/economic systems or cultural patterns are geared towards ever implementing a system which supports people who do not work. And this is not a socialistic/communistic concept, even Friedrich Hayek recognized the need for such a system.
Well, in theory robots could do a lot of dangerous or boring jobs and free up human labour resource for more fulfilling work - or to free up potential to help our species advance efficiently. Unfortunately at the moment, the dominant paradigm (free market thinking, albeit strongly constrained in favour of the rich and powerful) seems to view an unused labour pool as an acceptable outcome - even a necessary outcome.
To me, this has the same feel of nations where women are unable to become educated - massive amounts of human potential are squandered and large amounts of suffering inflicted on people by other people for ideological reasons (counting both religion and the free market myth as such).
In the UK for example - I think there are plenty of things unemployed people could do that would positively contribute to society. The towns are dirty, graffiti ridden and litter is everywhere. Old people receive a bare minimum of care from the society in which they live. Even for people not possessed of remarkable intelligence or ability - there are plenty of potential jobs they could be doing that robots cannot yet do - but there isn't enough money
to fund those jobs. There is however enough money to pour into failed banks (hardly a free market to do so!), or to fund various military adventures etc - so this represents a value judgement rather than an absolute limitation (and hell, money is essentially imaginary).
At the higher end of ability and skill I wonder how much talent and intelligence is simply squandered due to the market not assigning any value to the use of it. That is to say that when money drives everything - where is the incentive to spend large amounts of effort finding answers to the increasing shortage of antibiotics? When we let the market drive that - we have to wait until suffering increases to a point that it is profitable to do so - as opposed to trying to do so simply because it makes sense. In the modern world someone can have multiple degrees and be flipping burgers just to get by. They are again being underutilised - and there is a cost to society from that.
Likewise - suppose a company that makes a lot of money selling HIV drugs (which must be taken for the rest of a lifetime and are not cheap) found a cheap cure for HIV (speaking hypothetically). How can it possibly be in their interests to bring this to market if they stand to make a lot more money selling people medicine for life?
Where I'm really going with all this - if we accept the reasonable assertion that population is currently much too high and a sustainable population would be substantially lower, we need to consider what the shape of human existence then becomes. I think a high population is a significant driver of innovation and hence the high technology we currently possess. There is a statistical certainty that with more people there will be both more geniuses and more good ideas floating around.
Given that population must be constrained and assuming that we want our members to enjoy a basically comfortable existence, and think it worthwhile to try to answer the big questions (like where did the universe come from and how does it work) - I would argue that we need to do a lot better at utilising our potential. We need to not squander people and potential, and potentially that means robots (and other things - like educating all members of the species, not letting poverty or the market discard potential, etc).