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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Androids have higher calling than mechanical cousins, IU expert says

Human-looking robots have a greater potential for social interaction according to MacDorman, associate professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. "They are the ultimate human communications interface. They can serve as companions, entertainers, rehabilitation therapists, realistic medical training dummies and teachers for autistic children."
MacDorman, , will share his expertise at the International Robots and Vision Conference in Chicago, June 11-14. He will join scientists from 26 nations presenting at a session highlighting recent trends and technology in service robots.

In the United States robots are still viewed mainly as tools for performing specific tasks, even when they act autonomously. They can be programmed for tasks such as delivering messages, medications and food in hospitals, cleaning public areas and general surveillance. "However, using an android seems to have little if any advantage over special-purpose robots in performing these kinds of jobs," he said. "A less expensive, wheeled robot can courier or vacuum faster than an android and with less power consumption."

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