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Autom: The World's First Social Robot

Our interview with robotics expert, Dr. Cory Kidd.
by Danee Torres | Mar 29, 2012
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Wall-E and EveRobots are a fascination of ours---and when we say ours we mean almost everyone we know. How can you not be impressed by something that walks (sometimes talks) but is made of wires and plastic instead of skin and bone? We were lucky enough to find someone who specializes in and has been working with robots for more than a decade, and he sat down to talk to us about the future of robots (including the little, friendly one his company created).

Dr. Cory Kidd is a technology entrepreneur. He has a Computer Science degree from Georgia Tech and an MS and PhD in Media Arts and Sciences from the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He's currently based in Hong Kong, where we met up with him, and owns a company called Intuitive Automata. Working in robotics for more than ten years, he says that it's not so much about robotics [itself] but about the uses of it to help people. "What I've done for the past thirteen or fourteen years is work the intersection of new technology and healthcare," he adds. Dr. Kidd's understanding in human-robot interaction spans not just the technical part of robotics but also humans interact with technology.

Intuitive Automata is the maker of Autom, the world's first social robot. It may be difficult to understand what a social robot is, given our current understanding of anything "social" involves Likes, Comments and LOLs, but Dr. Kidd says that Autom is set apart from others because it can understand what the person in front of them is doing while also being able to show something social and have interaction with them unlike a vacuum cleaner robot that doesn't really know what people around them are doing.

See the next page to see Autom

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