Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Emotional Robot Lamp?

So maybe yoy think iCat is too cutesy. Or Nuvo is too much of a kiss ass.
Phillips has another idea for engaging conversational robots.
People do not really need realism in a robot. In fact, much like cartoons, sometimes the lack of detail is more engaging.
The principle of the Uncanny Valley described by Masahiro Mori describes our feelings when interacting with robots.
A pile of metal and wires is not very emtionally engaging or friendly. As the type of robot begins to look more human we begin to feel more comfortable with it. Until at some point the robot is very realistically human but not quite - just very creepy. (Maybe like Ripliee R1)
But then as the similarity improves more, to where the robot is almost undistinguishable from a real human, we are again at ease with it.

The creepy type of robot is said to fall into the Uncanny Valley.

Phillips HDS is using the fact that missing detail may draw in the human and so their household manager robot, Dimi, looks like a modern lamp or something. The companion can feign empathy by positioning it's head along with it's tone of voice.

No, you're da man!

Expressing emotion like R2D2, sort of.

In Phillips Research magazine (PDF) they say that, "If all goes well, a robot in the home may become as common as a PC or TV—and as indispensable to daily living."


Anonymous Cristobal said...

The chart creator is very perceptive. It really explains why I find Icat adorably cute, the robotic 8-year old Japanese girl incredibly disturbing, and Andy the sex robot so off the chart gorgeous.

10:57 AM, July 20, 2005  
Anonymous Cristobal said...

It's funny too that the chart creator is Japanese since they seem to have built many of the robotic residents of "Uncanny Valley" featured here on Robot Gossip. Painted Face Mannequin Conversation Robot springs to mind.
If your a robot designer you gotta stay out of Uncanny Valley. Alarm bells should ring if little kids burst into tears and run screaming from your creation.

11:13 AM, July 20, 2005  

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