That's Baxter...on the job!
Take a second to look at the above image. How do you feel when you look at it? What do you think? What does it make you want to do?
That's Baxter, a state-of-the-art robot carrying out one of the many dull, dirty and/or dangerous jobs in today's industrial economy.
Do you think the image is silly? A fake demonstration of some far-in-the-future fantasy?
Do you feel vaguely anxious or angry when you see the photo?
Or, are you amused by Baxter's wide-eyed earnestness? Do you find yourself caught between contradictory feelings of pride in humanity's inventiveness and dread at the implications of the robot's relentless effectiveness and efficiency?
Bottom line: Do you think it's a good thing that Baxter is picking and packing those widgets? Or, do you worry that the downsides of robot automation will ultimately lead to dangerous consequences?
RoboPsych is about your psychological reactions to robots and what effects those reactions will have on your willingness and ability to use and work with the rapidly approaching robot workforce.
If you haven't already, how about completing our brief survey concerning your thoughts and feelings about robots. The goal is to help you understanding your current reactions to robots, to help you to identify your RoboPsych attitudes.
Ultimately, RoboPsych is about putting together a plan to prepare yourself for that day in the not too distant future when you look up and see Baxter being wheeled into the cubicle next to yours.
Because, while we may not recognize it, dull, dirty and/or dangerous jobs come in all shapes and sizes.
More on that here soon.