Honda has been hard at work on its humanoid robot called Asimo for years. One of the tricks the robot has been designed to be able to do is recognize human gestures. Recently the first Asimo robot was put to work in the real world as a museum guide in Tokyo.
However, things didn’t go well for the robots first day on the job. Asimo reportedly was unable to differentiate between people on group tours who are raising their hands to ask questions and those who are simply taking photographs. According to reports, each time someone the tour group raised a camera to take a picture, the robot would ask “Who wants to ask Asimo a question?”
You might think that the engineers at Honda would have recognized the potential to confuse Asimo since taking photographs is an exceptionally common occurrence in a museum. I can imagine how irritating it would be for people on a robot led tour if each time someone in the group tried to take a photo the robot stopped to answer a question.
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