Robots in the World of Communication

Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated in robots, especially in the interest of personal robotics. Little me always wanted an R2-D2 from Star Wars or my own “The Robot” in Lost in Space (yeah, creativity in creating robot names weren’t the 60’s strong suit). However, over the years, reality settled in and I slowly accepted the fate that I won’t be alive to see that wondrous robotic filled life. Then one day in the not so distant past, Roomba entered the scene. I was mystified by this little mechanical creature that was cleaning up my mess, I even started interacting with it like it was my own pet. Yet, one day I caught myself wondering why I was even talking to this…this thing. I would ponder that weird thought.

Why did I bring up that little sappy autobiography? Obviously it shines light on what I want to take out of this course. I want to learn more about the interaction between humans and robots. Robots have become almost a reality, but what will be the effects on our society? Will robot interaction cause a strain or an advancement in the social world? Can humans really accept the idea of living side by side with mechanical device with social abilities? The following TED talk answered some of my questions, but surely will create more once I think upon the subject. The speaker Cynthia Breazeal, a MIT grad student and leading expert in Social Robotics, provided evidence that not only do humans not mind interaction with robots, but prefer it rather than other types of technology. With that, Cynthia is developing the first actual personal social robot, Jibo. Jibo is described by gizmodo.com as a “…bulbous little guy [that] can read to kids in the living room, recite recipes in the kitchen, take photos in the yard, and perform a handful of other simple tasks.” My dream of an R2-D2 is finally becoming a reality!!!! This one can even talk and not “beep boop” all over my parade!!!!!! Overall, this sounds amazing to me! Nevertheless, I still want to understand the interaction between robots and humans and maybe, just maybe, this course will elaborate upon that.

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