As robots enter everyday human contexts with access to cloud computing, we are facing a functional and behavioral paradigm shift for robots not dissimilar from the Web 2.0 revolution. People engage differently with physically present characters and are more likely to adopt a technology with whom they enjoy interacting. This new class of machines senses and acts on the world, explores shared autonomy and can charm us in our workplaces, schools and homes.
Outsourced computation and shared knowledge databases are already impacting robots’ recognition capabilities, which will introduce a new wave of applications for sociable and expressive devices that can refer back to the cloud when they’re not confident of an answer, looking for variation or providing connectivity to their users.
Personality will also become a distinguished feature of their design and effectiveness. These dual capacities, information saavy and charismatic communication, will fuel a new friendly robot revolution that will forever impact the way we interact and grow up with machines. Embrace the dream—it’s time to make sci-fi read like history!
Heather is currently conducting her doctoral research on performance robots at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute and running Marilyn Monrobot Labs in NYC, which creates socially intelligent robot performances and sensor-based electronic art. Her installations have been featured at the Smithsonian-Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, LACMA, SIGGRAPH, Mindshare LA, TEDxUSC and the Fortezza da Basso in Florence, Italy. Her work also includes: robotics and instrumentation at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, interactive installations with Syyn Labs and sensor design at Aldebaran Robotics. She is an alumnus from the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab, earning her bachelors and masters at MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with a minor in Mechanical Engineering.
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