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The Robot Revolution Is Coming, and Dang Is It Cute


Anki's Vector robot.

The robot revolution is coming, and its so dang cute we might not even mind.

Credit: Emily Prapuolenis/The Wall Street Journal

Adorable robots may be a critical factor for public acceptance, with one example being a voice-capable, treaded toy robot from Anki that simulates eye contact and plays card games.

The Vector robot is programmed to be independent and explore its surroundings, and to always behave in an interesting manner, even when it appears to be ignoring commands or malfunctioning.

Said Anki's Hanns Tappeiner, "Vector at his core is meant to be a characterful and helpful robot who lives with you and becomes your robotic companion over time."

Vector reflects an emphasis on robots' demeanor, which designers expect will be paramount as they mature into multifunctional assistive home devices.

Although some designers stress utility over cuteness to sell the robots' functionality above all, others contend an adorable personality is likely to be more enticing to consumers.

From The Wall Street Journal
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