Googly Eyes Are Changing The Robot Game


When it comes to technology, we really are living in the future. The robot butlers we all once dreamt of are a reality now: in our homes and in the stores, libraries, and other public places we frequent. But interacting with a robot can feel strange, sometimes, especially if you need to speak to it. Recently, as Fast Company reports, the central Oodi library in Helsinki, Finland, found that some of their patrons were having trouble with their new robot, which they brought in to help librarians out. Minja Axelsson, a roboticist at Futurice who designed, coded, and tested the central Oodi library's robot, told Fast Company that patrons couldn't quite relate to the robot as "a social object," and that children would climb or jump on it, too. In the end, a simple, but unexpected addition solved this problem: a set of googly eyes, stuck on the robot's front. Head over to Fast Company to learn why a set of eyes made this robot so much easier for humans to interact with and trust, and how eyes change the way we think.