Willow Garage researcher Leila Takayama studies human-robot interaction and has witnessed humanity's relationship with robots evolve.
As robots become more intelligent and aware, experts say people might develop emotional relationships with robots. Takayama notes that it is a different kind of love than for people, but it is a real emotion that should be examined further.
Takayama is developing robots that can help with household chores, and go to the office while the user works from home. However, robots with the ability to learn and use appropriate social cues are the most likely to make people feel emotionally attached to them.
"If the robot succeeds in opening a door so that it could do a task for you, it could look a little bit happy and that can actually help with the way that that robot feels appealing and approachable," Takayama says. "Same thing if it fails, if that robot at least looks like it feels a little bad about failing, that increases the appeal and approachability and perceived competence of that robot."
She notes that robots can alienate users by seeming rude and abrasive, and part of her work is trying to teach robots manners and social skills.
From The Huffington Post
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