Leonardo – MIT’s Social Robot

Robot Building for BeginnersAI the Movie was a film that touched on subjects ranging from science fiction, to philosophy, to biology, etc. The movie’s modern Pinnochio theme made some laugh and some cry. One researcher had a different revelation from the movie.

When Professor Cynthia Breazeal saw the movie, she was inspired by the look and lifelikeness of the Teddy Bear on the movie. She decided to create her own version of the bear in her MIT labs.

Her creation, called Leonardo, is amazing. It thinks, learns, and gives expressions that some would believe were real feelings.

You can see the Leonardo Project at http://robotic.media.mit.edu/projects/Leonardo/Leo-intro.html.

If you would like to see some videos of Leonardo, please visit the Techblog’s Post on the Leonardo Project as well.

It is really fascinating what we can do with computers these days. We can create lifelike sensing robots that appear to have the characteristics of a person or a pet. These robots go far beyond what a Roomba does for humans. And, I can’t even imagine what sorts of algorithms must be used in Leonardo’s decision making process. It will be exciting to see what sort of “toys” they come up with next.

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