Wednesday, November 7, 2007

QRIO befriended by toddlers in study

Remember that study
which placed a bubbly QRIO in the middle of rambunctious 18- to
24-month old kids in order to better analyze human-robot interactions?
We know, it's probably coming back ever so slowly, but regardless, the
findings of the five month trial have finally been published, and the
results are less than shocking. Essentially, researchers noticed that
children learned to treat the QRIO as if it were another human; the
Earthlings eventually felt comfortable touching its hands, covering it
with a blanket when it laid down and helping it back up if it toppled
over. Notably, kiddos even went so far as to shun the poor bot when it
was programmed to dance nonstop, but they forgave the bizarre antics
and continued to play nice once the jig was up. The crew involved with
the research is now focusing on the development of autonomous bots for
the toddler classroom, and while much more testing will likely be done
before any conclusions are definitively drawn, results from this go
'round sure hinted at just how susceptible we are to robotic takeover, er, playing nice with harmless androids. Oh, and be sure and check the video after the break!

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