The “uncanny valley” is a term you’ll hear roboticists throw out from time to time.
We rounded up some of the most physically reassuring robots there are. Some are soft and fluffy, others have big eyes that instantly register to us as cute.
Each one has been used for a variety of different purposes, but they all have one thing in common: Widespread appeal to the humans they may one day be working and “living” alongside.
Furbies probably represent the first time people had robots in their houses that they interacted with on a regular basis. They were every child’s gotta-have-it toy in 1998. Over 40 million of them were sold between 1998 and 2001.
Sony’s famous robot dog, AIBO, is no replacement for man’s best friend, but the digital canine analog can play fetch and respond to being petted with the best of them.
Sony announced the line of robo-pets would be discontinued (“taken to the farm”) in January 2006.
Sam was a character in the beloved children’s show “Sesame Street.” He’s not real, but he’s adorable.