Google ‘mad scientist’ patents robot toy for kids
Application lists ‘anthropomorphic device… in the form factor of a doll or toy’
A recent Google patent application describes a smart doll that will be capable of talking to children and transmitting remote commands to other devices based on the outcome of the dialogue.
The application, dated 21 May, 2015, describes in its abstract "an anthropomorphic device, perhaps in the form factor of a doll or toy [that] may be configured to control one or more media devices".
"Upon reception or a detection of a social cue, such as movement and/or a spoken word or phrase, the anthropomorphic device may aim its gaze at the source of the social cue. In response to receiving a voice command, the anthropomorphic device may interpret the voice command and map it to a media device command. Then, the anthropomorphic device may transmit the media device command to a media device, instructing the media device to change state."
The application includes sketches of a teddy bear and a toy rabbit, both of which include components such as speakers, microphones, motors and cameras.
Inventors of the technology are listed on the application as Daniel Aminzade, a Stanford-educated Google software engineer, and Richard Wayne DeVaul, whose LinkedIn profile says that for the past two years he has been "Director of Rapid Evaluation and Mad Science" at Google X.
According to The Register, the application lists further forms of the technology as a dragon or an alien.
"Young children might find these forms to be attractive," the patent application reads. "However, individuals of all ages may find interacting with these anthropomorphic devices to be more natural than interacting with traditional types of user interfaces."