Tag Archives: Grandparents’ Day

Grandma Robot Works for Me

Alert:  Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 8, 2013. 

Alert:  Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 8, 2013

.Alert:  Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 8, 2013.

Pardon the repetition.  I am a Robot stuck on message

In fact, I am Grandma Robot, a title and role known to few.  I have been officially known as  “Grandma Robot” for a few years now, ever since my four-year-old grandson Will determined that unique title when he was not yet two years old.  It stuck.

Why the unique title I cannot say.  I have come to appreciate the distinct – if not distinguished – title.  How many Grandma Robots do you know?

I proudly fantasize that Will simply has a precocious perception of his robotic future.   Research shows that humans evidence a strong preference for robots that wear a friendly smile.  If we expect robots to provide compassionate health care or otherwise interact effectively with humans, people need to feel comfortable.  And still the regular run of the mill robot of today is cold, dispassionate, mechanistic.

We need robots that show they care.  Humans have to be comfortable hanging out with robots.  The challenge to researchers is formidable and the costs staggering. 

 Still, humans must embrace a vision before we start engineering.  What could be more genuinely comfortable than a Robot with the looks and demeanor of a grandma?   Are we planning to build a domestic robot that can help a kid bake ginger cookies?   Is anyone working on a robot that will operate an in-house bookmobile or read a half dozen bedtime stories in a soothing voice?

We’re not there yet.  For now I’m a proud Grandma Robot happy to celebrate Grandparents’ Day with my real live grandson who has better things to do than explain how he happened upon the Grandma Robot appellation.