(October 14, 2010) Andrew Meltzoff, co-director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, and Rajesh Rao, University of Washington associate professor of computer science and engineering, with the humanoid robot used to demonstrate “social” interactions to babies.
Diagram of the test phase. Top panel: The baby sits across from the robot. Middle panel: Robot turns its “head” toward a toy. Babies who did not watch the robot play games with the researcher did not look to see where the robot looked. Bottom panel: Babies who had watched the robot play games with the researcher followed the robot’s “gaze.” They wanted to see what the robot was seeing.
Babies are curious about nearly everything, and they’re especially interested in what their adult companions are doing. Touch your tummy, they’ll touch their own tummies. Wave your hands in the air, they’ll wave their own hands. Turn your head to look at a toy, they’ll follow your eyes to see what’s so exciting.