Babies Like Social Robots

research robotA new study from the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences shows that babies who have seen a robot interact socially with humans will also interact with it socially.

The babies were put in a room on there mother’s lap with some toys.  After a few minutes the robot is revealed and Rechele Brooks, an assistant researcher,  began to interact with the robot.  When asked where it’s head was, the robot would point to it’s head.  After 90 minutes of interaction like this, the researcher would leave, to see if the baby would continue interacting with the robot.

The robot beeped and shifted its head slightly — enough of a rousing to capture the babies’ attention. The robot turned its head to look at a toy next to the table where the baby sat on the parent’s lap. Most babies — 13 out of 16 — who had watched the robot play with Brooks followed the robot’s gaze. In a control group of babies who had been familiarized with the robot but had not seen Morphy engage in games, only three of 16 turned to where the robot was looking.

Shown here is Andrew Meltzoff, the co director of the institute with Rajesh Rao, an associate professor, and the robot used in the study.

I guess we are now training babies to welcome there new robotic overlords.

Link via (Science Daily)

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