iPal

iPal takes robots to a whole new level and into a new arena. It is designed to be a baby sitter and is called a social robot. Wires and plastic are neither social nor sociable. The premise is people already use iPads and iPhones to babysit children and so this robot is better because it is more interactive. People have used televisions to babysit children. I remember an article about junior primary teachers attaching microphones to themselves because the children would only respond to a voice which sounded electronic. I also taught a boy once whose accent and cadence were very distinct but I couldn’t place where it came from . One night I could hear the television in the background and there was the voice and the accent. It was a cartoon character. Julie Carrie Wong discusses this robot in a well composed article in The Guardian:

‘This is awful’: robot can keep children occupied for hours without supervision

It is also discussed on quartz

These sorts of technological developments are going to happen. It is important we discuss them and understand their advantages and disadvantages. A robot cannot replace a person in terms of care but there may well be some really good uses for this robot.

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