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The New Uncanny Valley: Empathetic Robots

We have become increasingly intrigued by the growing relationship between humans and robots lately, as explored in our recent In The Air report, Robots: The New Uncanny Valley. The latest robot on the scene is the endearingly cute Kibo.

Kibo was recently sent into orbit from Japan where he sent messages back from the international space station. Later this year he is due to accompany the first Japanese astronaut to go to the International Space Station, and from his personal Twitter account, Kibo will send pictures back to children in Japan to educate them about space.

“The main objective is that humans can talk to it and feel some sort of closeness to it. That is why we decided to give it a humanoid shape,” explain Kibo’s developers.

It’s a fascinating project and highlights the ways technologists and designers are increasingly attempting to humanize technology. Watch the video above to find out more. – Philippa Wagner

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