Full-fledged humanoid robots helping the elderly
are certainly well and good, but what about somebody that just needs a little help staying in touch with their family? They might one day be using something like this so-called Kompott "robotic agent" designed by some students at the Zurich University of the Arts Interaction Design lab. As you can see, it's actually just a robot head, which has a touchscreen for a face and a couple of sensors that let you tap it on top to wake it up, and on each side to scroll through items. To simplify things even further, the bot also boasts both voice recognition and text-to-speech, and a single button on its chest that lets you access a list of contacts. Of course, it's still just a prototype, but it does appear to be fully functional -- head on past the break to check it out in action.