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Friday, November 23, 2018

Furhat: a Social Robot from Sweden

Been following the social aspects of robotics for some time.  Furhat looks at it differently.  But since its is not meant to have any particular purpose in mind, does this mean it is goal-less?  Or as a needed front end for a chat-bot like system?  Its been shown that a human like face can change our behavioral interaction to a robot, even if we know it is a robot.   We recently saw a socially oriented robot, Kurbi, fail.    Yet we find people reacting to Alexa socially.   What do we want from social robots?   I am intrigued by the statement that  "... Furhat is an answer to the absence of robots ..."

Good piece, quite a bit of detail, with images and video:

Furhat is a social robot for every situation
But could we ever really accept it?
 By Jamie Rigg, @jmerigg in Engadget

Earlier this month, Furhat Robotics launched its face-swapping social robot after many years of development and prototyping, which began at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Unlike the majority of robots, Furhat isn't built with any particular purpose in mind. In fact, that's the whole point. The disembodied bust can look and sound like all kinds of different, virtual people; it can take on any number of personalities. It's pitched as a new type of computer interface -- more engaging and understanding than any screen or smart speaker or AI chatbot. And as CEO Samer Al Moubayed puts it, Furhat isn't a replacement for people, but an answer to the absence of robots.   ... "

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