One of the biggest things I learned was to think of a humanoid robot as a device for engaging people within a specifically programmed domain – like the way you engage with your phone. It’s not a sci-fi android, and it’s not an AI that can have arbitrary conversation… yet! If you walked up to a robot in a department store and said “I’m looking for a blue shirt that matches the pants I’m wearing”, you would get a robotic blank stare. Instead the robot might initially grab your attention by waving, and as you approach it, it might start a conversation with “I’m here to help you! Do you want to charge your phone? Or can I call someone from another department for you?” This provides a more engaging experience for the human because you can interact with a computer in a human-like way.
Speaking with the presenter Nicolas, he said that humanoid robots are still in the early stages of development. They are currently like the Atari 2600 to The Terminator’s PS4. But if you find yourself stuck in 1982 you don’t have to sit around waiting for the PS4, you can have plenty of fun with what you have, and even work to advance the state of the art!
Do you think you would want to program humanoid robots?