New HRI Podcast: Aldebaran Again

I recorded a new episode of the Human-Robot Interaction Podcast:

Aldebaran Again – Is this the end of Pepper?

Softbank Robotics sold their Nao and Pepper robots to the United Robotics Group (URG) which reversed the name of this business back to its orginal “Aldebaran”. In this episode Dwain Allan and I discuss the uncertain future of Nao and Pepper based on direct correspondence with URG. We try to answer the question whether you should still invest in this robotic platform. Is Aldebaran another zombie robotic company?

New Podcast Episode: The Story Of Boston Dynamics

From military robots to beer commercials.

A new episode of the Human-Robot Interaction Podcast is available:

The Story Of Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics is the rock star of robotics. It recently featured in a beer commercial during the Super Bowl. How did a company that started as a military contractor become a novelty in beer commercials? Dwain Allan and Christoph Bartneck discuss the past, present and future of the company with Robert Cheek and Stephen Hickson.

Robots in Education

An Introduction to High-Tech Social Agents, Intelligent Tutors, and Curricular Tools

Our new book “Robots in Education” has been published by Routledge.

Robots in Education is an accessible introduction to the use of robotics in formal learning, encompassing pedagogical and psychological theories as well as implementation in curricula. Today, a variety of communities across education are increasingly using robots as general classroom tutors, tools in STEM projects, and subjects of study. This volume explores how the unique physical and social-interactive capabilities of educational robots can generate bonds with students while freeing instructors to focus on their individualized approaches to teaching and learning. Authored by a uniquely interdisciplinary team of scholars, the book covers the basics of robotics and their supporting technologies; attitudes toward and ethical implications of robots in learning; research methods relevant to extending our knowledge of the field; and more.

The laws of robotics podcast episode available

A new episode of the HRI Podcast is available:

The Laws Of Robotics

In our previous podcast episode The Good Robot we discussed the difficulty of enabling robots to act ethically. When talking to journalists or policy makers about machine ethics you frequently get the response, well, Issac Asimov already solved that problem with his three laws of robotics. These laws are so seductively simple that most will intuitively understand them. In this episode of the Human-Robot Interaction podcast, Sean Welsh and I will have a close look at these laws and try to understand why barely anybody has ever tried to use them in their robot.