Posts tagged social robots
This great TED talk Cynthia Breazeal expands further on one of the recurring themes of Robots and Avatars – the increase in personal and domestic use robots and the implications this may have for young people in particular. As a grad student, Breazeal wondered why we were using robots on Mars, but not in our living rooms. The key, she realized: training robots to interact with people. Now she dreams up and builds robots that teach, learn — and play. Watch for amazing demo footage of a new interactive game for kids.
Cynthia Breazeal founded and directs the Personal Robots Group at MIT’s Media Lab. Her research focuses on developing the principles and technologies for building personal robots that are socially intelligent—that interact and communicate with people in human-centric terms, work with humans as peers, and learn from people as an apprentice.
She has developed some of the world’s most famous robotic creatures, ranging from small hexapod robots to highly expressive humanoids, including the social robot Kismet and the expressive robot Leonardo. Her recent work investigates the impact of social robots on helping people of all ages to achieve personal goals that contribute to quality of life, in domains such as physical performance, learning and education, health, and family communication and play over distance.
A core theme of Robots and Avatars concerns how young people might negotiate their identities online in the future. For many, the multi identities that virtual spaces create afford them a certain freedom. This brings with it empowerment and new possibilities for the ways that they craft their social spaces. The energy and openness that many young people show when talking about these questions should certainly be celebrated but questions of online credibility, security and cyber-bullying must of course be discussed as well. Petimos, due to be launched later this year, are aimed at 7 to 10-year-olds and are designed to place checks on the processes of interacting online, particularly through social networks.