What gives an inanimate object a personality?
For scientists and engineers in the new social robots field, finding out what gives a robot the appearance of emotion or personality is essential. In the case of these little LEGO walking bots, it is mostly a matter of the way they move. The particular motions and speed create a pattern of movement that we interpret as a personality. It is in our interpretations of these movements where the personality really lives. In talking about them I was surprised how different members of our exhibits team disagree about the personalities of each of these bots. When I designed them, I had no thought on their personalities, but now I mostly see them as having animal characteristics. Others seem them simply as cute, while others find them menacing.
If you were to assign personality traits to these three walkbots, what would they be?
These walkbots were developed while testing LEGO robotics kits with our visitors for our upcoming exhibit, Social Robots. This exhibit will explore the emergence of a new generation of robots, focusing on the interaction of robots and people.