I know what you mean, Chuck. I haven't come into contact with any of them myself, personally, but it would seem sort of weird, even for someone like me who grew up in the Star Wars generation. ;) I'm sure we're not alone, but perhaps as robots become more advanced and are more prevalent in the human world, people will just get used to them. As with most things, the more you experience something, the more familiar it becomes.
For whatever reason, Liz, I would have trouble taking any of these humanoid robots seriously in a business setting. I'd feel comfortable talking to a Telepresence system on a wall, but I can't imagine carrying on a discussion with humanoid robot that's following me down a hallway.
Ah, interesting...so perhaps "the eyes" have it? (Pun intended. ;)) But seriously, it is intresting to think what parts of the robot make it more human-like and therefore make people more comfortable interacting with it. I would imagine eyes, which already are important windows into a human being's character, would be an important feature on a robot to make it seem more human. We often judge a person by their eyes--ie, do they look trustworthy, does their smile reach their eyes. Perhaps it's the same with robots.
Interesting concept, Chuck, I did not know about the "uncanny valley." Makes perfect sense, but I suppose as you say we have to just get used to the idea. Humor seems a good way to bridge the gap, for sure. And if Baxter is as well designed as Ann says, perhaps "he," too, bridges the valley. I guess we will just have to see. But it still may be awhile before it's like C3PO or R2D2 in Star Wars and robots are seen as our friends and trusted companions! Just to get people in an industrial setting to work comfortably alongside Baxter and others like "him" would be a good start.
That's funny, Ann, I was tempted to call Baxter a "he" straightaway! Good to know he lives up to his design promise. Is he as intuitive as he is suposed to be? I really would be so curious to meet him (yes, it is a bit weird to be thinking this about a robot) since he was so hyped!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
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