People with more extrovert personalities tend to choose more humanoid robots, which have a greater resemblance to humans, with facial features and a human-like voice, whereas more introverted people tend to prefer mechanical-looking robots, more like a box on wheels with a metal head.
This is a recent finding from Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn’s team at the university’s School of Computer Science, who took the robot out of the laboratory last year and had it living in a house nearby so that they could observe how it interacted with humans.
A member of the team, Dr Mick Walters conducted his PhD project on the investigation of people’s perceptions of different robot appearances and an assessment of how they would like to be approached by the robot and in what manner.
“Our research allowed us to identify two broad demographics of people who have preferences,” said Dr Walters. “It seems that there are those who prefer an unobtrusive robot and then others who want a cheerier presence.”
“After years of investigating Human Robot Interaction with hundreds of participants, we have looked at proxemics, an area which has not been studied before, and condensed all of this information into an empirical framework,” added Professor Dautenhahn. “Also, rather than producing a robot and then finding an application for it, we have involved people in the development of these People Bots right from the start.”
Helene Murphy | alfa
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
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