Designing Sociable Robots

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Overview

Cynthia Breazeal here presents her vision of the sociable robot of the future, a synthetic creature and not merely a sophisticated tool. A sociable robot will be able to understand us, to communicate and interact with us, to learn from us and grow with us. It will be socially intelligent in a humanlike way. Eventually sociable robots will assist us in our daily lives, as collaborators and companions. Because the most successful sociable robots will share our social characteristics, the effort to make sociable robots is also a means for exploring human social intelligence and even what it means to be human.

Breazeal defines the key components of social intelligence for these machines and offers a framework and set of design issues for their realization. Much of the book focuses on a nascent sociable robot she designed namedKismet. Breazeal offers a concrete implementation for Kismet, incorporating insights from the scientific study of animals and people, as well as from artistic disciplines such as classical animation. This blending of science, engineering, and art creates a lifelike quality that encourages people to treat Kismet as a social creature rather than just a machine. The book includes a CD-ROMthat shows Kismet in action.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
...an entertaining book... thought-provoking and likely to hold many pointers to the future. Alex M. Andrew Robotica
<i>Robotica</i> - Alex M. Andrew
An entertaining book... thought-provoking and likely to hold many pointers to the future.
The New York Times - Claudia Dreifus
Dr. Breazeal [writes] about her adventures as a modern-day Mary Shelley.
Foreword - Peter Skinner
Magisterial.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Cynthia L. Breazeal is Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT MediaLab.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Sources
1 The Vision of Sociable Robots 1
2 Robot in Society: A Question of Interface 15
3 Insights from Developmental Psychology 27
4 Designing Sociable Robots 39
5 The Physical Robot 51
6 The Vision System 61
7 The Auditory System 81
8 The Motivation System 105
9 The Behavior System 127
10 Facial Animation and Expression 157
11 Expressive Vocalization System 185
12 Social Constraints on Animate Vision 211
13 Grand Challenges of Building Sociable Robots 229
References 243
Index 253
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