/* ---- Google Analytics Code Below */

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Cute Robotics

Rise of the cute robots   by Joseph Boyle    in TechExplore

French company Enchanted Tools reckons their machines will help in hospitals, hotels, restaurants and anywhere with objects that need moving.

The red eye that refuses to be extinguished, the metal body that cannot be crushed—for many of us the word "robot" conjures one image: the Terminator.

But robots are now everywhere, serving as companions in care homes or vacuum cleaners in our homes, and manufacturers are keener than ever to design friendly machines.

"At first we noticed the kids could be a bit afraid," said Do Hwan Kim of his firm Neubility's tiny delivery robot.

To get around the problem, the firm added big doughy eyes that can indicate, making it look like the world's friendliest futuristic wheelie bin.

Dozens of the machines now trundle around campsites, university campuses and golf courses across South Korea.

"Campsites even use it on their posters," Kim told AFP at the VivaTech trade fair in Paris, underlining its transformation from potential threat to family friend.

And VivaTech played host to plenty of other robots designed with cuteness in mind—ones with cartoon animal personas, others that looked like children's toys from the 1980s.

The aesthetic stands in stark contrast to the creepy dog-bots and anonymous drones that have become standard.

'Escaped' from cartoon

As robots have become more common, a whole field of academia has grown up studying the interaction beteen machines and humans.

Kerstin Dautenhahn of Waterloo University in Canada, one of the most noted researchers in the area, said she had seen a huge shift in the way manufacturers looked at design: from an all-consuming concern with function to an acute awareness of appearance....

No comments: