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Don't Be Rude To This Robot

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the real-dinosaurs-were-much-less-emo dept.

54

News.com is running an article on an emotionally-responsive dinosaur robot that the Ugobe company has in the works for 2007. Called 'Pleo', the animatronic Apatosaurus will respond to the vocal intonations of its owners. It won't be able to understand vocal commands; instead, its mood will be dictated by the tone of voice used at it. A terse tone can result in a depressed dino. From the article: "Ugobe will try to go beyond selling a walking/talking toy. The company will publish a developers' kit and open its source code, making the Pleo something of a cousin to the Lego Mindstorms kits or the old Radio Shack 64-in-1 electronics kits. Consumers thus will be able to download 'personality modules' and see how their Pleos react to different stimuli ... Ultimately, the company may license the technology so others can build or incorporate robots into their own products. 'We've created a toolset for making lifelike robots,' Ugobe CEO Bob Christopher said."

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54 comments

I for one (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16990502)

I for one welcome our emotionally unstable robot overlords.

Re:I for one (2, Funny)

ppc_digger (961188) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990750)

I for one welcome our emotionally unstable robot overlords.
I sure hope you said that in a calm tone...

Re:I for one (3, Funny)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990776)

28 October 2006: Korea invents Robotic Sentry with Gattling Gun.
16 November 2006: Skyn^H^H^H^H Google plans to run on nuclear power.
26 November 2006: First Emotional Robot Created.
25 December 2006: Somebody somewhere decides to combine 2 of the aformentioned elements.
26 December 2006: End of the world as we know it.

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991682)

20 April 2007: Somebody somewhere receives their patent...

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991742)

You forgot the robot that plays hide-and-seek. Kinda creepy: "oh, I found you. Please don't be afraid. There's no need for violence, too. [Gun cocks] [Gun shot]".

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16996536)

Deadly seriously, you mean;

28 October 2006: Korea invents Robotic Sentry with Gattling Gun.
16 November 2006: Skyn^H^H^H^H Google plans to run on nuclear power.
26 November 2006: First Emotional Robot Created.
25 December 2006: Somebody somewhere decides to combine 2 of the aformentioned elements.
26 December 2006: ???
27 December 2006: Profit!

Re:I for one (4, Funny)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990910)

I too welcome women.

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992850)

> I for one welcome our emotionally unstable robot overlords.

"Oh yeah? Bite my fleshy meat ass!"

I for one...... (0, Redundant)

aneeshm (862723) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990510)

I may be modded down for this, but I couldn't resist:

I for one welcome our emotionally sensitive Dino overlords!

They should combine research (2, Informative)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990516)

They should combine research with this guy. [canoe.ca]

Re:They should combine research (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16990616)

I wish these guys [realdoll.com] would license the technology.
Imagine them mooing in response to the tone of your voice...

I for one (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16990540)

welcome our *

You better get the reference. (3, Funny)

commisaro (1007549) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990550)

Sounds awful...

Re:You better get the reference. (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990798)

Hrmm, can't take this too lightly, it could be sirrius :P

Hilarious Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16990556)

> Called 'Pleo', the animatronic Apatosaurus will respond to the vocal intonations of its owners.

Guess what they call it when it DOESN'T respond. An APATHosaurus! ROLGOLFLE!

Beaten to market by AT&T (4, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990560)

I heard that AT&T was developing another kind of robot [penny-arcade.com] that you don't want to be rude to.

Re:Beaten to market by AT&T (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16990658)

Here's another [newlaunches.com] one. I'm waiting for a hybrid...

All potential members (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990564)

Of the resistance should get this kit in preparation for the day when Skynet goes live. Terminators who are depressed after being abused over their weight/appearance/incomprehensible Austrian accents etc will function less efficiently.

Re:All potential members (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991434)

Actually, the T800's accent wasn't so much incomprehensible as it was inexplicable. I mean, come on ... Austrian? On the other hand, given that Skynet's only interest in humanity was wiping it off the face of the Earth I suppose it can be forgiven for not picking a more appropriate accent.

Is the Home Secretary reading this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16990584)

It won't be able to understand vocal commands; instead, its mood will be dictated by the tone of voice used at it.


Cyber-dinosaurs that react to verbal tones? Verbal aggression [slashdot.org] , even?

Now that is the sort of policing that would make me feel safe!

Emotive Dino (0, Flamebait)

gijoel (628142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990592)

So basically they've invented an emo lizard.

So is it real this time? (4, Interesting)

CerebusUS (21051) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990664)

They've been criticized in the past for faking demonstrations. YouTube example here [youtube.com]

Re:So is it real this time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16990780)

That video is priceless, i had no idea what a bunch of scammers that company is!

Re:So is it real this time? (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991512)

Ha--p0wn3d!

Re:So is it real this time? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16995434)

They've been criticized in the past for faking demonstrations.

Only an idiot would believe the video proves anything. I mean, who here believes that the same software, on the same hardware, running the same startup sequence in virtually the same enviroment... would behave noticeably differently in it's first five minutes of 'life'? This video sequence (and the comments on YouTube) says more about those sheeple who reflexively think corporations cheat rather than bothering to think things through.

Re:So is it real this time? (1)

CerebusUS (21051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17000258)

I think the most damning part of the video is when the device responds identically to different stimuli. Particularly the "knocking on the table" portion of the video.

Believe me, as a rabid geek and original furby owner, I'd like nothing more than for this video to be wrong, it just doesn't look good at the moment, and these guys have been advertising this thing as "coming real soon now" for a few years.

Re:So is it real this time? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009762)

I think the most damning part of the video is when the device responds identically to different stimuli. Particularly the "knocking on the table" portion of the video.

OTOH that's exactly the behavior I'd expect to see in a 'learning' system when it first wakes up - because it doesn't know what response is suitable, so it runs down it's basic menu. (A more advanced algorithm would have some weighting to various options over others, but a simplified one would not.) It's exactly the same behavior I've seen repeatedly when playing with basic neural networks, simplified genetic algortithms, etc... That's what convinced me that this is real - because it's behavior matches what I've seen before.
 
 
Believe me, as a rabid geek and original furby owner, I'd like nothing more than for this video to be wrong, it just doesn't look good at the moment, and these guys have been advertising this thing as "coming real soon now" for a few years.

As I said, your reaction says more about you than it does about the Pleo. You default to accusation rather than questioning.

Dino's first words (0)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990698)

So here I am, brain the size of a planet, and you want me to walk across your room...

Re:Dino's first words (0)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990744)

"... I'd like you to know, I'm feeling very depressed."

Sirius Cybernetics Corporation beat them to it. (1)

ftsf (886792) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990714)

do these ones have Genuine People Personalities?

Obligatory Reference... (1)

CalSolt (999365) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990716)

Ugobe? What an ugly name. I say they change it to "Sirius Cybernetics Corporation."

Re:Obligatory Reference... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991478)

Or maybe "Cyberdyne Systems". Products from both companies seem to be just about as fictional.

Standby flamewar (4, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990766)

That's one dinosaur that was intelligently designed.

re: Don't Be Rude To This Robot (1)

g2ek (852570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990854)

Oh God I'm so depressed

One of the key benefits ... (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 7 years ago | (#16990858)

... of robots is that they are emotionless to begin with. Sure, nobody wants to work with a needy robot, but the ramifications could be much greater. If we start attaching emotions to these things, and begin investing our own emotions into them, we could be headed for some real trouble as a civilization. And don't even get me started on adding thinking machines into the mix. We'll need to be very careful in the future to keep ourselves from becoming dependent or even obsolete -- and we may already headed down that path. In a world of wikiality*, truthiness* and the general dumbing down of everything with convenience at any cost, we've got to keep on our toes.

* Stephen, the check's in the mail.

Emotionally sensitive robots? (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991020)

News.com is running an article on an emotionally-responsive dinosaur robot that the Ugobe company has in the works for 2007.

What an incredibly lame idea. Yet another company makes the mistake of giving consumers what they say they want, rather than what they'll actually pay for. Emotional insensitivity is exactly what I enjoy about working with computers.

Ugobe: A bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

Re:Emotionally sensitive robots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991590)

People would buy pets that didn't shed, make a mess, or die of old age. In the long-term emotive robots are exactly what people would pay for, just so long as they're cute and all. You're making the typical Slashbot mistake of assuming what you would pay for represents what others would pay for--also known as delusions of grandeur. Not everyone in the world is an emotionally-crippled tool that thinks, "Emotional insensitivity is exactly what I enjoy about working with hammers" when someone starts talking about robots that emulate emotional responses.

Oh Great. (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991112)

In the past week or two we've heard about:

Robots who think we taste good (bacon mm!)

Robots with frickin' machineguns on their heads

Robots who can play hide and seek

and now to top it all off, Robots who respond to how we talk to them.

Just what we need. Get home from work, act snippy to your robot, and suddenly it decides it's going to eat you. You can't hide, it'll just find you, and you can't run, it'll just shoot you.

I don't even know why the scientists make them!

Your love keeps lifting me higher (3, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991294)

Ray: You! You worthless piece of slime! You ignorant disgusting blob!
Egon: You're nothing but an unstable short-chained molecule!
Ray: You foul obnoxious muck!
Egon: You have a weak electrochemical bond!
Ray: I have seen some disgusting crud in my time, but you take the cake!

primary directives... (1)

mikefitz (954613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991304)

1) Serve the public trust. 2) Protect the innocent. 3) Uphold the law.

Re:primary directives... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16991486)

You forgot Directive 4.

Re:primary directives... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992036)

Dick, you're fired!

Arg, get it off! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991436)

So, when you're angry at it, it bites? Where is the presale signup?

Practice bullying on dinobot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16991538)

By creating fixed responses to various tones of voice it just encourages people to try yelling at their dino to see it humorously contemplate removing its own batteries. What fun! Come on Jack Thompson, surely you can save us!

Robots with emotions? (1)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992204)

Please, for the love of God, don't test it for any less than 30 years.

Marvin (1)

Mathness (145187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16992424)

Consumers thus will be able to download 'personality modules' and see how their Pleos react to different stimuli ...

Oh great, I just _know_ I will get the one with Marvin personality.

Anatomically correct? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16992702)

A paleontologist helped design the Pleo, and it is anatomically correct.
Now I wonder if it can reproduce.

Already has a practical application (1)

try_anything (880404) | more than 7 years ago | (#16993206)

This isn't a useless trick. It can be used to train Aspies and other autistics to express and recognize emotions.

Current issue of Make has this (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16993310)

For those interested, the current issue of Make [makezine.com] magazien has a longish interview with the inventor.

Sorry, to read the article online you have to also subscribe, but Make is a great magazine and you should probably be subscribed anyway! This particular issue (issue 8) is a very good one overall so you might want to check it out on the stands.

Imagine the possibilties... (1)

ebers (816511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16994472)

combine this technology with that at http://www.realdoll.com/dolls.asp/ [realdoll.com]

I botched the link... (1)

ebers (816511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16994506)

This works: http://www.realdoll.com/dolls.asp [realdoll.com] That's what I get for not testing.

Fake... (1)

David_Shultz (750615) | more than 7 years ago | (#16995150)

Pleo is a fake, or at least not nearly as impressive as they proclaim it to be. http://youtube.com/watch?v=mgiB90lJNSY [youtube.com] The video demonstrates, at the very least, extreme dishonesty on the part of Pleo's manufacturers, in that they pass off their act as a demonstration of Pleo's adaptive ability.

Is it purple? (1)

eelko (467465) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001348)

Does it say "I love you!!!" all the time too? Does it want to dance all the time?

Sounds like another attempt to take over the world by Barney. http://de.jihad.net/lib/bull-dotb.txt [jihad.net]

But this time he's even creating his own electronic cronies..?!
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