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Monday, November 02, 2020

Robots Patrolling the Uncanny Valley

The notion of the 'uncanny valley', further and more widely examined.  Typically the idea has been applied to android robotics, that is robots or even visualizations that look much like humans, but are not.  That gives many people an uneasiness in interaction.   It can be expanded today to animals.  For example the robot dogs by Boston Dynamics, while obviously not dogs,  give some people a 'feeling of' large, potentially dangerous dogs.   A positive if you want them for guarding or patrolling.

 In general we don't feel quite the same way with large humanoid robots, who could have the same capabilities, but are not wrapped in the same animal skin we have a fear reaction to.  In general too 'AI' as a concept does not generate this fear reaction.  Our own experimentation with characters like Mr Clean, showed you could add smiles and positive interaction to cancel the uncanny reaction. 

Further in TechExplore:  Why robots and artificial intelligence creep us out   by Amanda Bowman, Texas Tech University ... ' 

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