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.
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.
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.