Robot friends for children are no longer fictional these days. During the CES event a few months ago, such technological advancements have already been showcased. Generally called social robots, these unique creations offer different kinds of "specialties" for their general audience. There's one robot named Einstein and it tutors physics to the kids. There's also one family robot called Mykie that assists in cooking.
Additionally, there is also one spherical robot named Leka. It has a more special purpose as it assists kids with autism in their socialization and learning process. Leka even has "emotional responses" and flashes happy expressions when the child performs a task right.
Such advancements in the field of robotics lines up with Jibo's chief scientist and co-founder Cynthia Breazeal's belief of what technology should prioritize. Jibo is one of the leading companies of robotics and Breazeal says that technology should prioritize human beings' unique needs by having an empathetic presence on top of being very interactive, Forbes reported.
With that, Jibo's robot also comes with the functionalities of smart devices while having the "care" that one would expect from an actual companion. For instance, Jibo has Amazon Echo level of intelligence but it also recognizes its users' interests. Meaning, if the user likes football, the robot could display a football as a virtual gift or even remind him/her of a friend who likes the same sports.
One other leading robotics company called Anki also developed a robot toy that is likewise targeted towards children. Cozmo, as what the company has named it, is virtually a true-to-life Pixar machine. It can recognize faces and remember names. Cozmo even likes stacking cubes and playing games with its human friends, much like WALL-E. Just like a regular kid friend, it also makes disgruntled noises or even flips a cube if its human pal wins in games too many times.