Sociable robots – a sign of the times?

February 22, 2009

Remember K9? or perhaps Metal Mickey? The days of robots playing alongside characters on tv? Well scientists are now taking their science and technology even further in this respect, with the development of robot nurseries. Yep, that’s what I said robot nurseries, you know that place where you take your children before they start school.  Scientists are now endeavouring to teach robots to interact with human beings in the same way that children mimic their parents and are trying to develop personality traits, working on “nature v nurture.”

Huh?  how can you relate either of those 2 concepts to a robot, something that has been created, something that doesn’t live, that isn’t real but is in fact a machine.  Nurturing a machine?!!  

When you think about it like that it sounds rather mad, doesn’t it? Yet at the same time it’s rather cool don’t you think – people teaching robots to be more like people, their creators?  Hmm, an interesting twist to the story of creation but when all’s said & done, not completely unlike God creating man in his image.

And then there’s BERTI – a robot that can play rock paper scissors?  Wow, that just blows way off the cool scale!

To look at some of these robots in action, check out the article on the New Scientist website, pretty fascinating stuff!


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