I'm Here to Make You Feel Better

Meet Bandit-II a "socially assistive" robot being developed at the University of Southern California. Robots can already perform surgery and track your meds. Now, new models aim to provide therapy and support. Before consumers send their Roombas for repair, they sometimes etch their names on the machines in the hopes of getting their own robots back. Somehow, they grow attached to the squat, disk-shaped sweepers and worry that a new robot will have a different personality. "People are grateful that the Roomba improves their lives, so they reciprocate by giving it attention like they would a pet. Many owners who gave their Roombas names also paint them, dress them in costumes or turn them on to entertain friends.Difficult as it is to design a robot that can assemble a Toyota or handle toxic waste, researchers are working on making machines that can coach, motivate and monitor people with cognitive and physical disabilities -- machines that are "socially assistive." As seen in The Washington Post, read more here...
Film @ 11,
Erin



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