One day humans and robots will probably live and work side by side. So, we might as well start the bonding time now.
To that end (sort of), the University of Western Sydney's MARCS Robotics Lab has developed an "adopt-a-robot" program. During the six-month trial, researchers will take home a robot with fairly limited skills.
Although the bots can already move across the floor and change direction when necessary, it's up to the researchers to decide on (and design) the robot's additional capabilities by adding sensors, hard drives or additional parts. Eventually, the bots might be able to recognize their owners, speak and process data, the lead researcher said.
The long-term goal is to study interactions between humans and robots, and find out whether humans become "attached" to their adopted robots--or get sick of them in a matter of days.