If movies have taught us one thing, it’s that robots cannot be trusted. That might be great at doing all those nice tasks for you now, but at some point in time it could rebel and become your new master and then you won’t think they’re so handy anymore. It is only in the movies though, at least that’s my hope. One robotics company, Embodied, wants to get children to befriend robots instead, with its new Moxie educational robot.
The idea behind Moxie is for it to teach kids through them helping Moxie – with its four microphones and a camera located on the front – explore and learn human experiences and improve both cognitive and social development. Along with life skills, like learning new words or chatting about significant experiences to help them process it. Something which sounds a little creepy, to be honest, and the stuff of Black Mirror. Parents, however, will be able to control Moxie though through a “parent app,” which will let them check their child’s progress and limit their Moxie usage. The data though will be encrypted so that only the parents or authorised guardian will have access to the child’s interactions with the robot.
The Moxie robot certainly looks like the kind of robot that kids would be drawn too and certainly offers a lot of educational potential, even though I feel it may replace certain tasks parents should probably best do themselves. It also all sounds quite complex and sci-fi in design, though Fast Company does go into considerable detail to explain exactly how Moxie works and is able to do the things it does.
Mind you, if you are going to buy your kids one of these, you will probably need to be away to work harder and afford the thing. The robot itself will reportedly set you back $1,500 and will require a $60 monthly subscription after the first year. A high price, though considering how hard best friends are to come by in this age of social distancing for kids, it could prove to be a worthwhile investment. If I had the money I would buy Darryn one for Christmas so that he can finally have a friend to talk to face-to-face, even if it is just a robot.
Last Updated: May 19, 2020