Coming in 2013: A Toddler RobotMeredith Carroll
There’s little question that many families would benefit from the regular presence of a highly skilled robot in their home. Especially if said robot had the ability to clean, cook, change diapers and get up before dawn with the kids to pour their cereal.
According to dvice.com, researchers in Switzerland are moments away from the release of a humanoid robot that can mimic the physical attributes of an actual person. However, if you had dreams of robots vacuuming under your bed dancing in your head, don’t get your hopes up, as the human-person prototype nearly ready for release is, in fact, a small boy and not Alice, The Brady Bunch maid with a coveted on/off switch.
Sure, this may still come in handy if you were thinking the floor directly underneath your toilet was looking a little too clean, or if you’ve realized there aren’t nearly enough toys cars ramming into each other in your home as you might have liked. However, if you thought the perfect robot might be modeled after an adult human, then you’re out of luck.
There’s no question toddlers are the bee’s knees. But one of the best parts about toddlers is watching them develop and grow. And mature. And grow out of phases and develop into people who don’t think it’s amusing to drop things, like scrambled eggs and spit, just to laugh while watching you mop it up. You’d think the advantages of a robot would be they’d be modeled after someone who already knows better, not somehow who has to keep learning it the really, really hard way. Over. And over. Again. And again.
If you thought your small boy did much damage simply by walking around (and into) everything, imagine if your small boy was made of things that can do real damage when smashed and crashed.
The Roboy, which is being developed by the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich, is “a tendon-driven humanoid robot that will ultimately be about the size of a 4-year-old child,” according to dvice.com. It’s expected to be unveiled in March at the World Congress and Exhibition ¨of Robots, Humanoids, Cyborgs and more in Zurich.
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