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And to learn more about the future of design in technology, check out our series Designing Innovation presented by the new Toyota Prius.
You trust robots to build your cars, but would you trust them to care for your children? Research says that for most people, that depends on what the robot looks like. Despite fears over the uncanny valley, a recent study found that when it comes to taking over human jobs, people are more likely to trust robots that look at least somewhat like real people. For emotionally or socially oriented jobs such as preschool teachers, therapists, and health-care assistants, people prefer robots with round, youthful faces, since they're perceived as better at conveying human emotion. Likewise, for more cognitive tasks that might be performed by an accountant or computer programmer, most people trust a robot with a longer face and more mature features.
Take a 360 tour of Fetch Robotics, a creator of autonomous and collaborative robots.
The robots that Fetch Robotics has created are barely a year and a half old. 00:49
The robots help boost worker efficiency by assisting with tasks like picking packages in shipping warehouses. 01:03
Engineers try to make the robots look approachable by designing them with wide heads and other "cute" features. 01:36
Explore how we view and register faces.
Watch a humanoid robot in action
RoboThespian is a human-sized, human-shaped robot whose movements were designed to appear biological, not mechanical. 00:29
It uses "muscles" made up of elastomer tubes that can contract and extend with the help of air pressure. 00:50
The muscles are powerful, but also soft and compliant, helping RoboThespian maintain sensitivity to its surroundings while also keeping the humans around it safe. 01:15