The shape of robots to come [The New York Times]
As robots increasingly migrate from heavy industrial tasks, like welding automobile chassis on assembly lines, to home uses as restless toys and venturesome vacuum cleaners, a fetching personality and appealing appearance become critically important.
Many of the robotic toys shown at the American International Toy Fair last month in New York were engineered to conceal their joints and metallic jowls beneath furry pelts and cute doll faces. Even traditional robots were packed with more personality than previous models.
The article goes on to talk about the emotional attachment some people feel for their Roomba vacuum cleaners and Scooba floor washers.
- Scoty by WowWee, co-developed with Philips Home Dialogue Systems
- Robosapien series by WowWee
- FurReal series by Hasbro, including Cuddle Chimp and Butterscotch Pony
- I-Dog and I-Cat by Hasbro
- Roomba and Scooba by iRobot
- Amazing Amanda by Playmates Toys