Ready For Awesom-O

Having grown up reading on tablets and talking to Siri, today’s kids are primed to welcome the presence of robots:

Because children are accustomed to this social relationship, their perception of technology and its purpose differs from those of their parents. Devices can be friends or teachers, not just tools or entertainment. Last year, a team at Boston-based research firm Latitude asked children to imagine how robots could fit into their lives. Sixty-four percent imagined a social humanoid, and the bots were more likely to act as tutors, playmates, or companions than exclusively as maids or assistants. Members of Generation Z will also be the first to have advanced robot companions at home. Last fall, Hasbro released a new generation of Furby that gathers data from sensors—including an accelerometer that measures how gentle or rough a child is with the toy—and changes its personality based on how it’s treated. Several more robots launching this year, including Romo and WowWee RoboMe, use a smartphone as a computing brain, so they’re able to utilize the camera and facial recognition to react to people.