Sony QRIO Robot Bonds With Tiny Tots

Watch what happens when scientists put a 2-foot-tall Sony QRIO robot together with a bunch of two-year-olds. After spending a couple of weeks with the giggling bot, the kids accepted it into the group—hugging, bonding and interacting with QRIO much like they did with their human playmates. As a control, the researchers introduced a robot that couldn't move or giggle to the toddlers, and they smacked it around. Says one of the scientists, "The study shows that current technology is very close to being able to produce robots able to bond with toddlers, at least over long periods of time." But wait a second. Don't kids do the same thing with stuffed animals? Maybe they just didn't like that control robot. [New Scientist]