BOT BYTES

Focus-Science and Technology - - INNOVATIONS -

BEG­GING BOTS

In a new study, a ro­bot begged par­tic­i­pants not to turn him off be­cause he was scared he wouldn’t be turned on again. The ro­bot’s pleas con­vinced a third of the par­tic­i­pants to leave him on, and most laboured over the choice, tak­ing longer to de­cide than those who hadn’t heard the ro­bot’s mes­sage.

BAR­TEND­ING BOTS

Fi­nally, after decades of progress, Mi­crosoft has de­vel­oped a ro­bot that can fetch you a beer from the fridge. De­signed to help re­cep­tion­ists with daily tasks, the ro­bot can sense when a hu­man needs help, an­swer ques­tions, and fetch spec­i­fied ob­jects.

BUDDY BOTS

Univer­sity of Lux­em­bourg researchers have de­vel­oped QTrobot to help autis­tic chil­dren in­ter­act with hu­man ther­a­pists and de­crease dis­com­fort dur­ing ses­sions. Chil­dren di­rected their gaze to­wards the ro­bot twice as much as to­wards a hu­man, and signs of dis­com­fort and anx­i­ety were de­creased by two-thirds dur­ing ses­sions with the ro­bot.

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