Friday, October 07, 2005


As I promised yesterday, I got a picture of Chroino. (see other movies here)
Chroino is a creation of Dr. Tomotaka Takahashi. He designs robots at RoboGarage.
His presentation was interesting because of the demonstration of the natural motion of Chroino and because of the design philosophy that he described.

First, he said, we must like a robot in order to interact with it effectively. If we like the robot then we communicate much better with it. The more complete interaction comes from our attitude when we enjoy the robot. We will accept imperfections in the robot and remain patient when we have to put extra effort into making ourselves clear to it.

Dr. Takahashi prepares Chroino and VisiON for a show

He compared it to how we communicate with a child in the family. We do not reject the child because because he does not understand us on the first try. We put in extra effort to make sure that the child learns from us.
In the same way, if we enjoy interacting with a robot then we will support it to learn.

To elicit this from humans he says that the robot must have "friendly motions" and be entertaining. He uses cartoons for inspiration.
So, using this foundation, he designs his robots starting from the attractve appearance then moving to the engineering construction. He says that many robots are designed from engineering principles first then the aesthetic and they are not accepted by humans.

Team Osaka's VisiON robot is also a Takahashi design.

I think this is an incredibly important concept that all robot designers need to understand. A large obstacle to introducing robots into homes and public places is not the technology but peoples' willingness to accept the robots. Dr. Takahashi and Dr. Shibata with his Paro robot have much to teach robot designers about getting humans to engage with robots.


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