Part of Project Lirec
This is an article on how strong attachment can grow between humans and their battlefield robots:
This has some interesting questions regarding Lirec research:
“They get upset when anything happens to one of the team. They identify with the little robot quickly. They count on it a lot in a mission.”
“Every time he was working, nothing bad ever happened. He always got the job done. He took a couple of detonations in front of his face and didn't stop working. One time, he actually did break down in a mission, and we sent another robot in and it got blown to pieces. It's like he shut down because he knew something bad would happen.”
“Every robot has its own little quirks. You sort of get used to them. Sometimes you get a robot that comes in and it does a little dance, or a karate chop, instead of doing what it's supposed to do.”
What's remarkable about the battle bots is that humans bond with them even though their designers have made no attempt to load them with emotional cues.
“Brooks wonders if engineers should actively try to create battle bots that adapt to particular individuals, like a dog. “I'm from Australia,” he says, “and Australian sheepdogs – you and the dog build up a strong working relationship. One could imagine a tactical situation where you're a troop of guys who train together, know each other quite intimately, recognize little hand gestures. One can imagine a deeper sense of communication with a particular bot that is working with those people for a long time, seeing their image, the way their hats are cocked, identifying them based on their gait. One could imagine doing the research to get to that. It's not out of this world.”