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Definition: social robot

A robot with an animal or human-like shape that supports a person's everyday life. Social robots provide features of virtual assistants, such as Siri and Google Assistant, but go way beyond to offer a more personal relationship by acting like a companion. Social robots may be able to recognize family members and remind them of events. They can often learn to navigate the house and enhanced home security may be a feature. See social bot, AIBO, Jibo, artificial empathy, collaborative robotics and virtual assistant.

The Care-O-bot 4
Developed by the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart, Germany, this 4th-generation robot was created to be a domestic companion in the home. (Image courtesy of Fraunhofer IPA and Phoenix Design, www.care-o-bot.de)

MOFLIN Emotional Pet
Expected in 2021, MOFLIN is an AI pet from Vanguard Industries in Japan that grows emotionally by evaluating its surroundings. Targeted at both children and adults, MOFLIN was designed to be a loving pet that helps comfort its owners. (Image courtesy of Vanguard Industries