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Brace for real robot revolution

india Updated: Nov 24, 2006 12:22 IST

George the robot is playing hide-and-seek with scientist Alan Schultz. George whirrs and hides behind a post until he's found. Then a bit later, he finds Schultz hiding.

What is so impressive about robots playing children's games? For a robot to actually find a place to hide, and then hunt for its human playmate is a new level of human interaction.

The machine must take cues from people and behave accordingly. This is the beginning of a real robot revolution: giving robots some humanity. The researchers who are injecting humanity into robotics are creating robots that can connect with humans in a more "thoughtful" way.

That's why George's game is important. "Robots in the human environment, to me that's the final frontier," said Cynthia Breazeal, robotic life group director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.