Simon Wants Your Attention

March 12, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Science News | Leave a comment

Simon says: Give me your wallet. Now.

Georgia Tech has been developing a robot called Simon. Unlike most robots, Simon’s purpose is to recognize human gestures and to move like a human. By being able to pick up on visual cues, Simon can tell when he has a person’s attention, which is just one step forward in being to make a robot that can interact with people. In order to further that relationship with humans, Georgia Tech has been studying how humans move in order to mimic that movement with Simon. The idea isn’t toward efficiency, but to make robots more natural and familiar. If a robot does a certain task like a human would, then people will be able to recognize what the robot is doing. On a base level, that familiarity factor eases fears of the unknown, as well as making people feel more comfortable around robots. The more natural the movement, the more likable the robot.

But Simon isn’t the only robot Georgia Tech is working with. They also have a sponge bath robot named Cody designed to study how robots touch humans. It’s fairly weird to watch a robot sit there and touch a person. Over on IEEE Spectrum, they have a video of the robot touching a female volunteer. Seeing the video, it struck me as both kinky and creepy.

Posted By: Skuldren

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