Building a More Sociable Robot

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Can't find anyone who wants to hang out this weekend? Help may be on the way. Researchers are working to develop robots with personalities — moving on beyond the mechanical arms found in today's factories, to devices that could interact with people on a social level.

Inventors describe their efforts to design robots that can interact with people on a deeper level: communicating, responding to emotion and operating under specific rules of social behavior. How soon will it be before social, lovable robots enter our homes?


Helen Greiner, chairman and co-founder of the iRobot Corporation in Burlington, Mass.

Peter McOwen, project coordinator of Living with Robots and Interactive Companions (LIREC); professor of computer science at Queen Mary, University of London

Dean Kamen, inventor; founder of the FIRST Robotics Competition; founder of DEKA Research & Development Corporation in Manchester, N.H.

Grant Cox, team member of the winning FIRST Robotics Team "Thunder Chickens"; senior at Eisenhower High School, Sterling Heights, Mich.



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