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Smart robots like Jibo obviously aren't alive, but that doesn't stop us from acting as though they are. Research has shown that people have a tendency to project human traits onto robots, especially when they move or act in even vaguely human-like ways.The way robots are designed can influence the tendency people have to project narratives and feelings onto mechanical objects, said Julie Carpenter, a researcher who studies people's interaction with new technologies. Especially if a robot has something resembling a face, its body resembles those of humans or animals, or just seems self-directed, like a Roomba robot vacuum.Some researchers, however, worry that designers are underestimating the dangers associated with attachment to increasingly life-like robots.Designers at robotic startups insist that humanizing elements are critical as robot use expands.His agency recently worked on designing a new delivery robot for Postmates – a four-wheeled, bucket-shaped object with a cute, if abstract, face; rounded edges; and lights that indicate which way it's going to turn.It'll take time for humans and robots to establish a common language as they move throughout the world together, Amit said.
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