Play, Dreams and Imitation in Robota

Aude Billard

Imitation, play and dreams are as many means for the child to develop his understandingof the world and of its social rules. What if we were to have a robot we could play with? What if we could through play and daily interactions, as we do with our children, be a model for it and teach it (what?) to be human-like? I advocate the use of natural human-like interaction, such as imitation, speech and gestures, for developing likable, socially interactive robots. As an example, I present a prototype of toy robot, the Robota doll, which can engage in complex interaction with humans, involving speech, vision and touch. Robota learns the meaning of her users’ speech through natural, imitation-based interactions.

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