Behavioral Trends: Robot Love


Robot Love


Personal computers, mobile devices, internet, artificial intelligence, big-data, robots and all kind of systems and machines are an important part of our everyday life. We have come to rely and even depend on them. They are always at our service, we trust them and we even have a personal relationship with them, with interactions that involve feelings, emotions and attachments.




During the COVID-19 pandemic, Business Breakthrough (BBT) University in Tokyo decided to hold their graduation ceremony observing the now-ubiquitous social distancing measures that have prevented the spread of the virus. They did so with the help of Zoom and OhMni Labs’ NewMe telepresence robots: each robot was dressed in a graduation robe with its matching cap, featuring a tablet which showed students’ faces. The robots helped add a dimension of proximity – and bizarreness – to the important ceremony, which was definitely unique.

Robot Love - OhminiLabs NewMe Telepresence Robots (article)


Despite being primary care centres, hospitals can quickly become infection hotspots. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s crucial to prevent staff and other patients from getting infected through contact with contaminated surfaces. UVD Robots is a subsidiary of the Denmark-based Blue Ocean Robotics, and it offers self-driving robots that disinfect entire rooms with high-intensity UV light. Hospital staff schedule and oversee the disinfection process, which destroys all kinds of microbes – including the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. As a crucial ally in the pandemic, this robot has been deployed in hospitals in 50 countries around the world.

Robot Love - UVD Robots Disinfection


IV.AI is an agency that provides accessible AI solutions to non-experts in a wide range of fields. They offer a plethora of AI-based services, from automated customer service and conversational commerce to predictive analytics and cost optimization, which aim to insert AI into otherwise bureaucratic processes. Their clients have included Netflix, the US government, Samsung, Estée Lauder, Aeromexico, Sony, among others, and their team boasts over 35 years of experience in the field, with many employees having backgrounds in major tech companies. IV.AI points towards an AI-enabled commercial world, one step at a time.

Robot Love - IV.AI


For many people, a simple blow-up sex doll just doesn’t cut it anymore. Beyond just sex, people want intimacy, reciprocation, unconditional attention–and not every “human partner” can provide that. Enter AI Robot Companions: the revolution in sex dolls. While definitely not sentient, these realistic humanoid robots allow users to unwind physically, mentally and sexually, through interactive, conversation and stimulation. It can seem strange to some, but for others, it’s the perfect companion to discuss your day or be pleased for hours without complaint or rejection.

Robot Love - AI Robot Companions


Who wants a regular old vacuum when you can have the pleasure of having a Roomba? The once-futuristic robot is as popular (and loveable) as ever. With its new capabilities, like self-emptying and custom mapping, the iconic vacuum robot by iRobot is already a household staple… maybe even a member of the family.

Robot Love - Roomba


Clicbot is a breakthrough, modular education robot designed by Beijing-based KEYi Tech. Clicbot’s personality and actions can change depending on the code users build, and the building blocks attached to it, with over 1,000 setups available. This makes Clicbot extremely modifiable–as long as users are willing to learn to code–and extremely loveable. Clicbot’s Kickstarter campaign was launched on February 11, 2020 and reached its goal within an hour of being posted. If this is the present of home robotics, we can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Robot Love - Clicbot


LOVOT is a soft-body robot whose only purpose is to make you love it. It’s self-driving, responsive and interactive, with each response carefully designed to ensure you continuously give it attention and affection. It uses “emotional robotics” technology, which is the embodiment of what robot love can become. LOVOT also has secondary options, like baby monitoring and patrol, which essentially operates as a security camera. This cuddly robot won the CES 2020 Innovation Award–and we can see why.

Robot Love - LOVOT


Google launched its Assistant in 2017, as the driving force of their Google Home speaker. It’s the evolution of their previous Google Now service, which provided voice command-triggered assistance to users through their Android smartphones. The new Assistant is very flexible, being able to exist in phones, speakers, computers and more, and constantly provides relevant information to the user. Whatever thing you might have to do, you can make Google do for you instead.

Robot Love - Google Assistant


Shipping and handling-focused Locus Robotics has developed a robot that solves productivity issues with many warehouse robots. Most of the options out there either force workers to trail behind the robots at abysmal speeds, or are expensive and inflexible. Locus Robotics offers multiple, nimble robots that tell workers what to pick up each time, and then transports those items from point A to point B, all while saving workers’ time and being extremely user-friendly, offering a multi-language UI. Doing manual cart work is becoming a tedious thing of the past, as workers have stated, and it’s for the best.

Robot Love - Locus Robotics


Transportation has been in a steady process of evolution over the past century. Right now, we can order practically anything from the Internet and have it in our hands in anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Wing, a Google/Alphabet subsidiary, aims to make that waiting time turn into a matter of minutes, by using revolutionary drone delivery technology. The advanced drone picks up the package and drops it off safely, avoiding power lines, trees and buildings with precision. Currently, the service is only operational for select businesses in Finland, Australia and Virginia (US), but the results are promising, and we could soon see it implemented on a mass scale.

Robot Love - Wing (article)


Talk about female orgasms and sexual stimulation has been extremely taboo–even in Western countries. Women have been told to ignore their quest for sexual pleasure for far too long. Lioness is a smart silicone vibrator that features data-gathering sensors, which provide data about each session and insights about your orgasms. The companion app shows how long it took to reach your climax-and the conditions in which it happened, like the pressure, speed and rhythm, so that you can work towards achieving the perfect orgasm. Practice makes pleasure!

Robot Love - Lioness Smart Vibrator


SecondHands is an EU-funded research project whose goal was to design a robot that offers lesser-skilled assistance to maintenance technicians. Essentially functioning as an extra pair of hands (hence the name), SecondHands doesn’t aim to replace the worker–rather, it simply becomes a partner for manual activities that require a companion, allowing workers more flexibility and productivity to do more demanding tasks.

Robot Love - SecondHands


The future is here–and it’s gourmet. Hoping to place a highly skilled robotic chef in households around the world, robotics company Moley is developing what they call a revolution in home cooking in the vein of cellphones and vacuum cleaners. It comes as a pair of futuristic, complex robot arms equipped with the ability to effectively prepare thousands of five-stars recipes, performing every single step perfectly. The company showed a working prototype in 2015 at CES, and aims to launch functional consumer versions in 2020.

Robot Love - Moley Robotic Kitchen


US-based Boston Dynamics has become widely recognized for their ground-breaking, often viral robots, particularly their canine-like ones like the military-oriented BigDog and Cheetah. In 2018, they unveiled the Spot, their most accessible, commercial robot yet. The Spot is programmable, rain and dust-proof, versatile and nimble, and it allows for applications in many different fields, particularly construction, safety and research; but also entertainment and even companionship. While it does resemble something out of a dark sci-fi film, the Spot promises to bring AI and robotics to a wider audience, ridding us of those often pessimistic perceptions of what robots can do.

Robot Love - Boston Dynamics Spot


Amazon’s AI virtual assistant, Alexa, has become a household name in the past few years. First appearing as the main user interface on Amazon Echo speakers, Alexa is capable of performing an array of simple commands, including playing music, streaming podcasts, providing weather and traffic information, setting alarms and reminders, and even telling jokes. Amazon has sold over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices as of January 2019, proving the popularity and likeability of this smart assistant.

Robot Love - Alexa


Hanson Robotics’ flagship robot, Sophia, has garnered all kinds of international attention. From being granted honorary Saudi Arabian “citizenship” to becoming an Innovation Ambassador for the UN’s Development Programme, Sophia has a level of influence and public image that few humans do. Even though she’s not sentient, and despite being criticized as not much more than a puppet, Sophia’s creators have stated that they hope Sophia becomes the image of what AI could one day become–humanlike, accessible, and benevolent; while being the driving force behind AI research and real science.

Robot Love - Sophia


In 1999, Sony launched the AIBO pet robot. Modeled after puppies, the robots became extremely popular in Japan. Despite this, SONY discontinued the robots in 2006, and stopped customer service in 2014 (Sony released an advanced AIBO in 2018. Its technology and parts are too different to be used to repair the old version.). This forced AIBO owners to seek third-party services, particularly through the A-FUN repair company. This company sourced spare parts from defunct models to do the repairs. These “organ donors” were honored with funeral services at the Kōfuku Buddhist temple just outside Tokyo, which were attended by A-FUN employees and some of the AIBO’s ex-owners. While they were merely robots, their owners grew legitimately attached to their AIBOs, and mourned their losses just like they would a previously living pet; a testament to the possibilities of human affection.

Robot Love - AIBO Funeral (article)


AIBO is a robotic dog manufactured by Sony and launched in 1999. It became extremely popular in Japan, but in 2006, Sony discontinued AIBO indefinitely… Until 2018, when they launched a revamped, more advanced version of their beloved pet robot. AIBO is fueled by AI, which takes in elements from its environment and starts shaping its personality and interactions, just like a dog would – making it very easy to grow attached to one of them.

Robot Love - AIBO


Pepper, by SoftBank, is a companion robot created to serve and be part of the family. Its incredible technology, and the naturality of its interactions, make it perfect for taking care of your kids, your old parents, for customer service and many other functions.

robot love - pepper


Going to Japan? You should consider staying at Hen-Na Hotel and being received, attended and served by their robot staff.

robot love - hen-na hotel


Being an opensource project, Pepper, by SoftBank, represents huge opportunities for appliance in different categories. In this example, buddhist monks are being replaced by robots, capable of celebrating masses and conducting funerals.

robot love - pepper


Click here to navigate our list of Behavioral Trends for value creation, full of insights and needstates, written from a post-demographic human-centered perspective by our partner Andrea Lobo.


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