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Robot Riding Shotgun: Aida the in-Car Robot Companion

by Lambert Varias
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Developed by researchers at MIT’s SENSEable City Lab in cooperation with Audi, AIDA (Affective Intelligent Driving Agent) is a drivers’ companion that offers useful information while interacting in a “socially appropriate and informative way.” AIDA will be mounted on a car’s dashboard, where it’s “face” will be visible to the driver.

AIDA-1

As you can see from the pictures, AIDA has its own set of facial expressions, to help it “establish an affective bond” with the driver. I guess it is more pleasing to interact with something that has a face, as opposed to talking to the air like the Hoff used to do with KITT, but won’t it become a distraction?

AIDA-2

What I like about AIDA though is its ability to familiarize itself with the needs and habits of a driver, like one’s usual destinations, or how one drives. It will then combine that information with real-time data like traffic or weather, stuff that may not be immediately available to the driver, to give hints and tips:

What do you think? Will AIDA be a helpful companion, or a nagger that you won’t be able to kick out of the car?

[via MIT via Popular Science]

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