Imagineering Social Robots
Popular Science gives us this great read on the work of developer David Hanson and his humanlike robotic faces. He claims there has been a lack of innovation in the area of lifelike facial robotics due to social and psycological stigmas. He claims his success has to do with creativily persuing really life like features, and while others have avoided the complexities of human behavior, he embraces it as the benchmark for truly sucessful robotics. The idea being that once we are emotionally attached to a robot is when they will become truly useful to us. He also happens to be a Phillip K. Dick Sci-Fi buff who used to work for Disney. The article quotes leading MIT roboticist Rodney Brooks who suggests "The coming robotics revolution will change the fundamental nature of our society."