You never forget the first time you hear about surgical robots. It sounds like the stuff of fantasy conjured after a late-night binge of the Sci-Fi Channel and Jetsons reruns. Then you learn more about real-life company Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), and you become intrigued.

Maybe you think it's a screaming buy. Maybe you think it's way overpriced. Either way, the company is a fascinating entity once you realize how its da Vinci robotic arm is popping up in hospital operating rooms everywhere.

Automation is no longer just the domain of sci-fi. It's becoming a big part of our everyday lives. From iRobot's (NASDAQ:IRBT) Roomba floor cleaners sweeping up after you to TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) fishing around to find shows that you're likely to enjoy watching to (NASDAQ:AMZN) spitting back book and movie recommendations based on your past buying patterns, intellectualized technology is making a difference in our lives -- and in many portfolios.

Intuitive Surgical and iRobot have been recommended in the Rule Breakers newsletter service, while TiVo and Amazon have been selected for Motley Fool Stock Advisor.

Intuitive Surgical has been a big winner, more than doubling over the past year, but will the good times continue? Some folks can't make up their mind. Even in Fooldom, not all Fools agree. Chuck Saletta breaks out of his value-investing mold to back this explosive growth stock, while W.D. Crotty remains bearish over Intuitive Surgical's prospects at today's prices.

Does Intuitive Surgical belong in your portfolio? That's what this week's Duel is all about.

Duel on!