GRACE robot tries to live up to name

Cheers Matt and Tonny Phang for sending this in.

A group of scientists who set out to build a robot with human social skills may have actually improved on humanity: Their creation courteously steps aside for people, smiles during conversation and politely asks directions.

The 6-foot robot, named GRACE, for Graduate Robot Attending Conference, will wander a symposium on artificial intelligence that begins this weekend, where it will demonstrate its good manners. It will try to sign in at the registration desk, find a conference room, give a speech and answer questions.

GRACE, a drum-shaped contraption with a digitally animated face that appears on a computer display, is the work of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and elsewhere.

GRACE is the only autonomous machine -- that is, one without remote controllers -- entered in the mobile robot challenge at the American Association of Artificial Intelligence's national meeting in Edmonton, Alberta.

News source: CNN - Sci/Tech

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