Robots will soon live among us – helping us out of bed, monitoring us, and assisting us in countless ways – but what if we just want to play a game of Scrabble? Victor is a Scrabble-playing robot created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University Quality Of Life Technology center to show how robots can interact with us on a daily basis, becoming friendly parts of our lives rather than cold metal and plastic.
The robot is designed to play Scrabble (poorly) and trash talk opponents by saying things like “This is not golf. You want to get a high score.”
While we expect most robots to blaze through forests like Big Dog or climb through drain pipes, Victor is a companion that can help the elderly get their social fix while playing. As Victor begins to lose he gets sarcastic and angry but otherwise he just makes conversation – commenting on words he puts down and generally chattering away while you play. Like the fitness robot, Autom, the designers made Victor so that he would be easily to engage with. By simulating human interaction, you get a unique experience that can make people feel a little better.
Plus it’s a trash-talking Scrabble-bot. Are we living in the future or what?