...if robots can have personalities? (with Maja Matarić)
Play • 30 min

The movie Robot and Frank tells the story of Frank, a grumpy older man who lives alone, until his son shows up at his house with a robot that has been programmed to take care of him. Initially, Frank wants nothing to do with the robot. But over time they start to get along and even become friends. And the robot turns out to be one of the funniest characters in the movie. 

Do you ever wonder if robots can have personalities?

To find out more, we talk to Maja Matarić, a roboticist and a distinguished professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics at USC. Her lab makes “socially assistive robots,” which help people do things that are emotionally difficult. And robot personalities are a key part of her work.

Have a question you've been wondering about? Send an email to everwonder@californiasciencecenter.org to tell us what you'd like to hear in future episodes.

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