Sunday, February 3, 2013

Robot Design

In my last post I shared an article from the New York Times about a humanoid robot called Simon.

Simon “is designed to study human-robot interaction from a social learning vantage, such as learning by demonstration and human-robot collaboration.”

Here’s more information about Simon from the blog Smartplanet:

Various aspects of this information can be interesting for students: the design of the robot (technical description), how it “learns” from people (process description), and what this means for future AI devices and appliances (impact analysis).

Video of Simon learning from its “teacher” (time 4:57):

A robot designed to interact and learn from humans reminds me of Nexi, a robot developed at MIT in 2008. Nexi was innovative for its facial design; it has eyes with movable eyelids and eyebrows to express what seems like emotions, in order to make it more amendable to the humans it would be working with (as service robot, babysitter, etc.).

Which of these two robots would you rather work with?


  1. Thanks for the post. Interesting article. I'll bring it up soon. Some of my engineers have robotics experience.

    Side note: would you consider changing the link font color? the purple on teal is hard to read and a bit hard on the eyes.


  2. Thanks, Stephen, for the feedback and for the suggestion about the font color. I'm still working out the mechanical aspects of this blog!