Robot Playground at the Science Museum

The Feelix Growing Nursery (from AthenaWeb)How will humans interact with the robots of the future?

Feelix Growing Nursery features robots developed by UK labs to help scientists answer this increasingly important question and were on show in the Science Museum's Antenna Gallery on 17 - 19 February 2009.

The Robot Playground displayed a group of robots from a ‘robot nursery' developed by Dr Lola Cañamero as part of the European Feelix Growing Project, led by University of Hertfordshire. The nursery contained different types of baby robots: an expressive robotic head, Aibo dog-robots and humanoid Nao robots. Like any good human nursery, these robots were given a play mat and some toys to explore, while being watched over by human caregivers.

The expressive robot head responds to the emotions of humans sat facing it. Visitors did get the opportunity to see it express its own emotions and play peek-a-boo with it. The Aibo dog robots invited people to become their caregivers, using visual and tactile contact to relieve distress. Toys were on hand to calm these playful canine robots. Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire were on hand to answer questions and to get feedback from visitors to the event.