Qrio, a human-like robot developed by Sony, has been sent to nursery school at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Since March, the 6.8-kilogram and 58-centimeter tall robot has spent about an hour each day playing with a group of very young kids at the UCSD Early Childhood Education Center. Researchers are watching closely to see how the kids react.
索尼研发的外形像人一样的机器人可利欧已经被送到加州大学圣迭戈分校(UCSD)的托儿所里。从三月开始，这款重6.8公斤、高58厘米的机器人每天都花大约一小时和 UCSD 幼教中心一群非常幼小的儿童一起玩。研究人员密切观察孩童们的反应。
At first they were a little bit scared, but now they sing and dance with Qrio and help him when he falls down. “The children think of Qrio as a feeble younger brother,” Sony researcher Fumihide Tanaka said.
The kids are starting to spend less time with the robot, however. “The next step is to improve the interactivity of the dance and figure out how to re-attract the attention of the children,” said Tanaka.
One thing nobody gets tired of is shutdown time. Queues form to cover Qrio with a blanket and wish him “night-night”. The lead classroom teacher, Lydia Morrison, said having Qrio around was “an enriching experience for both the children and the teachers”.
In another role as Sony's corporate ambassador, Qrio is often spotted at trade shows and sporting events. The robot is purely a research project at this point. Sony has no plans to make it commercially available.