It goes without saying that the modern day computer interface has come a long way from the humble days of the typewriter, and a possible area to explore in the future could be social hardware – the software’s already in place with the likes of Twitter and Facebook. This potential niche could be filled by the SociBot Mini, where it was specially designed to stand at 60cm in height, with a “face” that is made up of transparent plastic.
“Today’s computer interfaces have moved on very little from the typewriter,” explains Will Jackson of Engineered Arts, a firm based out of Penryn, UK. “We have social software and a social Internet, but we don’t have social hardware.” Apparently, that’s what SociBot Mini is meant to be. Designed and developed by Jackson and his colleagues, the robot stands at sixty centimeters tall. Its ‘face’ is composed of transparent plastic, backlit by a digital projector and designed with contours for a nose, mouth, and eyes. It’s equipped with a depth-sensing camera, allowing it to capture gestures and facial expressions; its on-board software allows it to work out someone’s mood from their expression and even correctly guess their age.