Robots make things funnier

Can robots do stand-up? Or, more specifically, can a robot make manzai (Japanese stand-up comedy) seem funnier? Dr. Jonas Sjöbergh, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Knowledge Media Laboratory of Hokkaido University, Japan, has been working on the question since 2008. And, in association with colleague professor Kenji Araki, a paper was produced for LNAI 5447, […]

Dogs Tail Wagging (Robotic and Otherwise): an Update

Back in 2010, Improbable reported ongoing investigations regarding tail-wagging in robotic dogs. We can now provide readers with an update, thanks to researcher Stephen Leaver, who has posted a video of Robodog in action via his research lab webpage. The accompanying paper : ‘Behavioural responses of Canis familiaris to different tail lengths of a remotely-controlled […]

Accent on/in roboticness

A recent study at the Delft University of Technology, in The Netherlands, determined that in some cases, some people would prefer that service robots are not talkative [see: The agreeableness of robotic vacuum cleaners]. If they were to be, however, what kind of accent should they have? Dr. Elizabeth Broadbent and colleagues at the University […]

Tickling Robots in Siena

“Under what conditions can we engage in a meaningful, expressive interaction with an electronic device?” Say, for example, by ‘tickling’ a robot? This question is examined in a new article by Patrizia Marti, assistant professor and senior lecturer at the Department of Communication Science, University of Siena, Siena, Italy, which features in the latest issue […]

Re-envisioning the Chess-bot

Robotic Chess Players are not new. But robots which play Chess via a touch-screen are. For this reason, the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology has just received a US patent for their ‘Board Game System Utilizing a Robot Arm’. The emphasis on the ‘arm’ part is perhaps […]