Ibn Sina Robot is joining Facebook, seeks friends

Named for a medical doctor, the Ibn Sina Robot (pictured, scowling at a meat-bag) wants to shed his scholarly ways and you know, hang out, make friends, have a bit of fun. The prototype robot is based on a PeopleBot machine from ActivRobots. It features face recognition and language modules that allow it to carry on real-time conversations with its database of friends. The plan is to put the bot on Facebook where according to the BBC:

The page will be populated with interactions the robot has with people as well as photos of the time it spends in human company. Its creators hope that embedding it in a social web will give rise to a sustainable friendship can grow up between man and machine.

See, Dr. Nikolaus Mavridis and his co-researchers are hoping that they'll learn to overcome people's reluctance to interact with robots. Hey doctor, here's a hint: try giving your robot a less menacing expression -- perhaps make it female even, with big doeful eyes and a taste for short mini-skirts. Then your robot will have more "friends" looking to interact than she'll know what to do with.