What You Say Is What You Did

A new European project hopes to make robots more trustworthy


Year by year, robots become better and better at negotiating each time more complex social interactions with humans. However, much as their social intelligence has improved, these interactions still suffer from a lack of transparency. In other words, unlike humans, robots are not capable of understanding and explaining their actions in intentional terms, which prevents them from having more effective communication with humans. To the joy of robots and humans alike, this challenge is now addressed by the What You Say Is What You Did (WYSIWYD) project, launched earlier this year.

Continue reading

What robotics learned from Pixar

Each year brings us closer to the day when robotic companions will become an integral part of our homes, schools, hospitals and offices. However, for robots to be truly accepted in our personal space, their social interactions with us must acquire the kind of fluency and coordination that humans expect from each other. This is one of the challenges addressed by Guy Hoffman, the co-director of the Media Innovation Lab at IDC Herzilya in Israel and possibly one of the most original thinkers in robotics today.

Continue reading

The Last Moment Robot

It’s OK if this gives you the creeps

If you think this kind of robot may be taking things a step too far, its creator Dan Chen would be pleased he’s gotten his point across. For starters, this robot isn’t actually being used for the application shown in the video above. In fact, the bed and fluorescent lit room are nothing more than props used to create a hospital-like environment within this interactive installation.
Continue reading

Meet the Mask-bot

it’s more than just a pretty face…

At first glance it’s a generic plastic mask fixed in front of a projector. Switch it on and you’re looking at the most realistic ¨talking head¨ yet. Researchers from the Institute of Cognitive Systems (ICS) at the Technische University in Munich have collaborated with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan (AIST) to create a life-sized talking head, the Mask-bot.
Continue reading