Watson, my life coach

I Asked A Computer To Be My Life Coach
December 22, 2015

Watson > Personality insights

Watson > Tone analyzer


BB-8 by Sphero


Meet BB-8™ – the app-enabled Droid™ that’s as authentic as it is advanced. BB-8 has something unlike any other robot – an adaptive personality that changes as you play. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and even perk up when you give voice commands. Set it to patrol and watch your Droid explore autonomously, make up your own adventure and guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic recordings.

Can You Teach A Computer To ‘Feel’ Suspense?

Can You Teach A Computer To ‘Feel’ Suspense?
August 17, 2015

Livia Polanyi, a professor of linguistics at Stanford University who specializes in narrative says this work is a meaningful advancement for computerized storytelling; Dramatis does a lot right.

But, she says, the computer still does not fully grasp what makes us feel suspense.
It cannot detect music, anguished faces and, most importantly, the way we humans connect with the characters.
If we don’t care about them, we don’t care what happens to them.

“I think we have to really account for what actually causes us to identify, to empathize and to care,” Polanyi says.

The Persuasive Power of Social Robots

How to Manage Robots and People Working Together
June 2, 2015
By James E. Young
Assistant professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Manitoba
Humans almost inevitably will treat the machines as living things. So companies need to prepare for all sorts of social issues that might crop up.

In some sense, that isn’t surprising: Humans are hard-wired for social interaction with the world. We use emotions and personalities to describe the weather, or even how machines such as our car act.
Research has shown this tendency to be exceptionally strong with robots, as they autonomously move around people. It is not necessary for robots to look like a person; even a small disc robot moving around a factory floor, with intentions and goals of its own, quickly comes to be seen by the humans around it as a living thing. Even people who vehemently object to the idea of assigning emotions and personalities to robots start to do exactly that after minimal time.

Our team found that people interpret how a robot moves—fast, slow, soft or jerky motions, etc.—in emotional terms.

Be careful when robots give people commands and recommendations.
Our work has shown how robots can pressure people to do things they would rather not do.
While computers and machines regularly give us recommendations or directions, such as automatic emails or alerts when a task is due, the same direction from robots can have a much stronger impact given the social-interaction elements that come into play.

Will people doubt themselves given robots’ advanced knowledge and sensor capability?

Companies should be aware of the persuasive power of directions when coming from a social robot

Develop a strategy for empathy toward robots. People feel bad when bad things happen to robots.
It is not surprising that most people are unhappy when expensive equipment breaks or malfunctions, but a growing body of research shows that people have empathy for robots when they are harmed, even something as simple as losing their memory.

There are reports from military situations, for example, where soldiers have demanded that their robots be repaired rather than replaced, or are hesitant to place their robots in danger.

Hanson Robotics

Hanson Robotics

Humanoid robot can recognise and interact with people  
Apr 20, 2015
An ultra-realistic humanoid robot called ‘Han’ recognises and interprets people’s facial expressions and can even hold simple conversations. Developers Hanson Robotics hope androids like Han could have uses in hospitality and health care industries where face-to-face communication is vital.

MIT’s Nexi

MDS Robot Video
Apr 15, 2008
This video shows an initial test of the MDS (Mobile Dexterous Social) Robot designed and built in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab’s Personal Robots Group,
UMASS Amherst’s Laboratory for Perceptual Robotics,
Xitome Design, LLC, and
Meka Robotics.
It illustrates the robot’s expressive range of movement using scripted animations and pre-recorded speech.


MDS robots to support complex human-robot teamwork in uncertain environments

DURIP Grant Award (Defense University Research Instrumentation Program)

Nexi Now for Sale
Jan 14, 2009

Simon (the robot)

Georgia Tech’s Simon

computer vision

social learning

Meet the Future: 10 Robots on the Rise
Feb 16, 2011

Simon Robot shell design
Carla Diana
industrial designer for the iconic humanoid robot, Simon