Jibo is dead (again)

In 2020 I recorded a podcast episode entitled “Why do all social robots fail in the market?“. I interviewed Tomas Concha from NTT Disruption, the company that had bought the commercially unsuccessful robot Jibo. I already had my doubts about NTT Disruption in 2020. In 2023 NTT Disruption was disrupted. Meaning that it closed down and with it Jibo. This does seem to be the end for this little useless robot.

But don’t worry! Other companies continue to build largely useless robots that are not much more than smartphones on wheels. Have a look at Samsung’s Ballie robot.

The idea of a smart home robot is not new. Amazon developed their Astro robot, but did not sell it to the general public. LG is also presenting a robot at CES2024 with roughly the same features.

I wonder if Samsung or LG will sell their robots to consumers. Or is this just another robot PR gag?

New HRI Podcast: Zombies – Can robots be conscious?

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

023: Zombies – Can robots be conscious?

Are robots zombies? This might seem like a strange question at first, but it leads to one of the most important questions in science today: what is consciousness and can robot’s become conscious? These questions fascinate many people. And when Blake Lemoine suggested that Google’s latest AI Lambda had become sentient, it triggered a worldwide media frenzy. In this HRI podcast episode, I talk with Professor Jack Copeland about machine consciousness.

New HRI Podcast: Emotions and Consciousness in Robots

Extended Interview With Douglas Campbell

I am happy to announce a new episode of the Human-Robot Interaction Podcast:

Emotions And Consciousness In Robots

In the last HRI podcast episode we talked about the role of emotions for humans and robots. The interview with Douglas Campbell truly inspired me and there was not enough time in the last episode to go into the full depth of our conversation. So here it is, our full discussion about emotions and consciousness in robots.

Predicting the robot future

We are still waiting for Able Mable

Predicting is hard, in particular when it is about the future. In 1966 the BBC predicted that it would take 1 million pound and ten years to create the Able Mable. She is capable of letting his lordship in, do all the household chores, and walk the dog.

56 years later our robots look different, but we still promise that their deployment is just around the corner. Just a few more years and we will have our robotic paradise. Some things change, other do not. I wonder if there was person inside the Able Mable robot to move the arms.

New Podcast Episode: The Sad Robot

Do robots need emotions?

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

The Sad Robot

What roles do emotions, affect and moods play for humans and robots? We will discuss how robots can sense, reason and express emotions. Furthermore, we talk about if emotions make robots more human. I had the pleasure to talk with Rosalind Picard (MIT), Lola Canamero (CY Cergy Paris University), Hiroshi Ishiguro (Osaka University) and Douglas Campbell (University of Canterbury) about these exciting questions.