The Anthropology of Human Robot Interaction

A few months ago I dismantled my mind controlled crane and re-used the arduino and servos to build a robotic head. The inspiration to build a robotic head that would follow people's gaze came after I finished reading Sherry Turkle's Alone Together. In the book, she describes and provides analysis for people's reactions and interactions to the robots that are being built at the MIT Media Labs. She describes how people associate emotions to external creatures that appear to pay attention to them. She goes on to argue the seductive nature of these robots taking advantage of the human need and want to connect and feel as if another entity is listening and paying attention. Scroll to the bottom to see a recent Ted Talk by her about some of the concepts in her recent book.

Check out the following videos to watch people interacting and attributing feelings and perceptions to Johnny Four.




A closeup of Johnny Four:


Sherry Turkle giving a ted talk: