The rampant usage of the internet has led to increased connectivity amongst people, but has reduced one-to-one interactions in the physical presence of individuals. A large population of youngsters lives alone and is barred of any form of social connectedness save through the internet. This has resulted in a feeling of loneliness and isolation amongst individuals, often leading to severe psychological problems. In order to curb this, a team of researchers presented a paper that reveals a potential robot that can help enhance social connectedness without compromising on the privacy of individuals. “Fribo”, the name given to the robot mentioned in the paper presented at Human Robot Interaction (HRI) 2018, records the activities of your friends who use the robot.
Working of Fribo
The robot is programmed to record ‘living noises’ such as the opening and closing of a door, slamming of the fridge, and other activities suggesting someone’s presence. Two individuals who use these robots can remotely stay wary of the activities of each other’s houses and feel a sense of social connectedness. The robot ensures that the privacy of the individuals is not intruded, and hence, noises of toilets and flushing, showers, and bathroom doors are not recorded. The pioneers of the study tested the robot and found that a number of people actually began to feel closely connected to their friends even while staying remotely away from each other.
Future Growth and Opportunities
The researchers believe that it is too early to foretell the utility and success of these robots for the times to come. The model has only been tested in Korea and is still to be tested in other regions. However, the new robot has portrayed another way of using artificial intelligence to connect people.