New social robots: Welcome to the era of robotic fun

BuddyThe lightning success of the campaign Indiegogo Buddy the robot has shown, the public has a crush on the friendly robots, fun, fun. Not necessarily the most advanced in terms of artificial intelligence, not the most complex mechanical terms nor the most powerful, a new generation of robots arrive. They will not be able to clean, prepare meals, but they will have fun, it’s a whole new generation of robots is about to hit the market because Buddy is not the only one its species.

A new generation of social robots is being marketed

In the 50s , domestic robot of the future was represented in the film by white metal tin box of cash, roughly humanoid. Forbidden Planet Robby the robot is probably the most successful example of this vision … which probably never happen. The domestic robot as it currently draws will be more fun because the sympathetic Buddy will not be the only one of its kind. The Jibo has itself also on card Indigogo and Alonso Martinez, character designer at Pixar designed Mira, devoid of a robot arm, leg or even casters to move but which nevertheless show an unusual expressiveness. Purists will say that these robots are just digital tablet on wheels but Buddy, Jibo, Mira, can be added to the Personal Robot Robotbase and sophisticated Pepper Aldebaran Robotics, fauna social robots like you need to call now is growing up.

The digital tablet has completely redefined the concept of social robot


The expressive robot Nexi of the MIT Media Lab.

This concept of social robot, ie designed primarily for interacting with humans, is not entirely new. Since 2009, the Media Lab of MIT operates the Nexi robot, a robot the researchers classified as a robot MDS (Mobile Dexterous Social). One can also classify the Nabaztag rabbit created in 2005 by the French or even the Purple Aldebaran Nao search, the Pleo dinosaur as well as the series of robots Karpar created by researchers from the University of Hertfordshire. Humans nickname created for communicating with autistic children.

The big difference of this new generation happens is that, apart from the minimalist Mira, these robots rely on a digital tablet to ensure the essential interaction with their users.

The Jibo project has raised $ 3.7 million on Indiegogo in September 2014.

The Jibo project has raised $ 3.7 million on Indiegogo in September 2014.

A clever way to communicate with the user and more economical than providing the robot arm, legs or mobile face. A mild solution of electrically, mechanically and has the great advantage of being able to run applications like the “apps” for smartphones, allowing manufacturers to robots set up an App Store dedicated to their robots and therefore both enrich their behaviors and incidentally create a business model over time. The approach is so appealing that we find today on robots more vocationally oriented as Pepper of Aldebaran, Baxter and Sawyer Rethink Robotics or the butler robot SaviOne Californian Savoike.
Translation : Google Translate

Sources :

“Pixar Guy Makes Adorable Peek-A-Boo Robot”, Simplebotics, July 10, 2015

“Video Friday: Your New Buddy, Atlas Fast Walking, and Robot Deception”, IEEE Spectrum, July 10, 2015

“Robotbase’s Personal Robot Promises Tons of Features, Impressive Hardware”, IEEE Spectrum, January 21, 2015

“Social robots: our charismatic friends in an automated future”, Wired, April 2, 2013

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