Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Toddlers help 'feeble' robot

AAP 03may05

A ROBOT developed by a Sony subsidiary has been
attending a nursery school in California since
March to play with children up to 2 years of age.
The experiment is hoped to help develop a robot
that can "live in harmony with humans in the

Sony Intelligence Dynamics Laboratories Inc's
Qrio robot spends time each day with more than
10 toddlers at the nursery school located in San

The project is being conducted in collaboration
with the University of California.

"We want to continue (the experiment) more than
six months to collect data," Sony Intelligence
researcher Fumihide Tanaka said.

The company gained approval from all the parents
of Qrio's classmates prior to the start of the

Qrio is always accompanied by a researcher, who
is in charge of making sure everything goes

While the children were at first apprehensive
about the automatically moving Qrio, they became fully
used to it in about a month, according to
Sony Intelligence.

They now dance with Qrio and help it get up when
it falls.

"It seems (the children) think of (Qrio) as a
feeble younger brother," Tanaka said.

Based on observations over the past month, Tanaka said
he believes a robot needs to have two contradictory
functions to be able to live in
harmony with humans - one for making "timely responses
to human approaches" and the other
for showing "unexpected, accidental moves".

He said a robot should have the two functions
in a well-balanced manner.

© The Australian


Post a Comment

<< Home