The way to make a social home robot seems to be pretty standardized: basically, you cram a tablet computer into a cute robot body with some degrees of freedom and do your best to make sure that your voice recognition and conversation algorithms are as good of an experience as you possibly can, using a screen to help you out when necessary. This is fine, if you can get it to work well, but there's a concern that it's just going to turn into an experience that's essentially talking to a gussied-up version of your phone. A group of researchers including Michal Luria, Guy Hoffman, Benny Megidish, Oren Zuckerman, Roberto Aimi, and Sung Park from IDC Herzliya, Cornell, and SK Telecom have developed a prototype social robot called Vyo. Vyo is "a personal assistant serving as a centralized interface for smart home devices." Nothing new there, but what sets Vyo apart is how you interact with it: it combines non-anthropomorphic design with anthropomorphic expressiveness and a tactile object-based control system into a social robot that's totally, adorably different.
File photo: Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos laughs as he talks to the media while touring the new Amazon Spheres during the grand opening at Amazon's Seattle headquarters in Seattle, Washington, U.S., January 29, 2018. If a "top-secret" Amazon plan comes to fruition, the online retail giant's next big thing might be home robots. Citing unnamed sources familiar with the company's plans, Bloomberg reports that Amazon is getting serious about building a domestic robot. Think Alexa, but with the ability to move around your home autonomously. The project, codenamed "Vesta" after the Roman goddess of the hearth, home, and family, reportedly kicked off years ago, but has been gaining steam of late.
The way to make a social home robot seems to be pretty standardized: basically, you cram a tablet computer into a cute robot body with some degrees of freedom and do your best to make sure that your voice recognition and conversation algorithms are as good of an experience as you possibly can, using a screen to help you out when necessary. This is fine, if you can get it to work well, but there's a concern that it's just going to turn into an experience that's essentially talking to a gussied-up version of your phone.
From connected light bulbs, to plant sensors, to smart locks, and beyond, smart home tech is growing and evolving rapidly. Here you'll find the latest product reviews, news, and how-tos to help you connect your surroundings to the internet in the smartest way possible. Amazon is reportedly plotting to launch a series of home robots and although it's unclear what these domestic helpers would do the one certainty is that the company already has the software stack in place to make the project a success. Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon's Lab126, which incubates new products and services, is working on a domestic robot codenamed Vesta. The Vesta robot effort is different than the Amazon robotics business formed via the 2012 acquisition of Kiva Systems.
The increasing mere presence of robots in everyday life does not automatically result in gradual acceptance of these systems by human users. Over the past years, we have conducted several studies with the goal to provide insight into the long-term process of social robots in domestic environments. This paper presents our overall conclusions from the combined findings of our multiple studies on social robot acceptance. We will provide insights from a user's perspective of what makes robots social, describe a phased framework of the long-term process of robot acceptance, present some key factors for social robot acceptance, offer guidelines to build better sociable robots, and provide some recommendations for conducting research in domestic environments. With sharing our experiences with conducting (long-term) user studies in domestic environments, we aim to serve to push this sub-field of HRI in real-world contexts forward and thereby the community at large.