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The Associated Press describes it as "an interaction in which the human is needed" and researchers from Brown University's Department of Computer Science (Brown CS) and Humanity-Centered Robotics Initative (HCRI) have some very important and very human interactivity in mind for their new partnership with entertainment leader Hasbro. They're working on a robotic cat with the aim of having it serve as a companion to older people and assist them with simple tasks.
The research is known as ARIES (Affordable Robotic Intelligence for Elderly Support), and it aims to add artificial intelligence capabilities to a product that Hasbro has already had on the market for two years. Without overpromising (the cat will never prepare meals or even navigate a house), they hope to expand its capabilities to include a small set of tasks that can be challenging for older adults, such as remembering medications or finding lost objects. The ultimate goal is allowing seniors to maintain their quality of life and stay in their homes longer.
The Associated Press story has already been featured on newspapers, radio stations, and television worldwide, including ABC News, The Washington Post, and The Daily Mail. You can read it in full here.
For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.