Little Kids versus (slightly bigger) Robots

Researchers in Japan gave children the opportunity to spontaneously abuse robots, and studied what then happened. (Thanks to Scott Langill for bringing this to our attention.) They produced this video and these studies about that: “Escaping from Children’s Abuse of Social Robots,” Drazen Brscić, Hiroyuki Kidokoro, Yoshitaka Suehiro, and Takayuki Kanda, In Proceedings of the Tenth […]

Patients prefer robots (to tablets)

If you were obliged to receive healthcare instructions from a machine rather than a human, which would you prefer, a robot or a tablet? ‘People respond better to robots than computer tablets delivering healthcare instructions’ say a team from the Department of Psychological Medicine, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, at The University […]

Robots speech – Japanese pneumatic style

There are now several well-established ways to create artificial voices – some take a purely electronic approach, while others, like Professor Hideyuki Sawada at Kagawa University, Japan, have explored electro-mechanical methods. The video above shows how pneumatically-driven artificial lips, tongues, voicebox and nasal resonating cavities might simulate speech. Unfortunately, the mpeg videos linked-to via the […]

Abusing robots – current positions [part 3 of 4]

Continuing our observation of inquiries into the torture of robots, we now turn to the ethical questions raised (by some). Kate Darling – who presented the recent ‘Robotic Dinosaur Abuse Workshop’ in Geneva, examines such questions in a paper entitled – Extending Legal Rights to Social Robots – (presented at the We Robot Conference, University of […]

Robots and humans interact – part 3 of 3

Improbable’s final (previous here) look at the RO-MAN Workshop 2012. – the 21st IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, which was held September 9-13, Paris, France. Part 3 : Floating-in-the-air ‘bot ‘Humanoid’ robots go back a long way,  and nowadays there are numerous flying robots in the skies, but there are very […]