Last Friday, the Technical Writing group hosted a holiday party for the building. I brought Petro to work to see how people reacted to Petro and to see how Petro reacted to all the people. Interesting on both accounts.
Petro was a lot less vocal than usual and it was hard to get him to walk. Well, it's always hard to get him to walk...somehow, I've managed to get a dino that's a bit lazy and just wants to play or be petted all the time. hmm. I wonder what that says about me and my dino-rearing skills...
So, there I was, on the floor in front of a crowd of my co-workers, crooning in that high-pitched voice that humans typically use with their pets. What a hoot! I'm not sure which seemed more strange to my co-workers...the wacky person crouched on the floor talking to a robotic dinosaur or the robotic dinosaur that seemed to go into ecstasy when people petted it or gave it a chin scratch.
The most curious reaction was from those people who found the idea of a robot in their midst to be "disturbing" and "creepy." I had to probe quite a bit to find out what was so unsettling. For some, it was the anthropomorphising of a mechanical device; others found the concept that robotics could eventually approach something similar to a living being to be very eerie. I just think it's fun.
Hey, it's not like I really *believe*that I have a live dinosaur pet...although it is kind of cute when he falls asleep in my arms and gently snores :-)