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Microsoft Robotics

Microsoft Robots to Watch Kids 544

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-I-sleep-the-robot-will-get-me dept.
Archangel Michael writes "Microsoft announced today that is testing a new toy / robot to watch over kids. My question is, if the toy BSOD does it take the kid with it? Now we are letting inanimate objects raise our kids! When will it end?"
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Microsoft Robots to Watch Kids

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  • by iolaus (704845) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:02AM (#11832736) Homepage
    Awesomo loves you!
  • Just wait... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mz6 (741941) *
    ...until it gets viruses and spyware.
  • Umm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Quaoar (614366) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:02AM (#11832740)
    Unless this "robot" is a block of cheese, it's probably going to be fairly animate.
  • perspective please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by selderrr (523988) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:02AM (#11832741) Journal
    Now we are letting inanimate objects raise our kids!

    You mean "as opposed to the warm and healthy TV-education kids have been raised by in the past 15 years" ? At least this robot might create the opportunity to go play outside.

    Stop seeing everything so negative
    • by Richie1984 (841487) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:08AM (#11832788)
      At least this robot might create the opportunity to go play outside.

      I feel the more important point is that no amount of television or 'nanny robots' can protect a child, and also help along its development, as well as genuine parental interaction, or general human interaction.
    • by imag0 (605684) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:16AM (#11832870) Homepage
      ...At least this robot might create the opportunity to go play outside...

      yeah. What you going to do? chain your kid to the robot and spring for the extra nice mag wheels to drag the little fecker into the "big blue room" on command?
    • by alsta (9424) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:30AM (#11833000)
      Or how about not buying one for little Poot if you don't trust it or want it?
    • by SenFo (761716) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:16AM (#11833323) Homepage
      "You mean "as opposed to the warm and healthy TV-education kids have been raised by in the past 15 years" ? At least this robot might create the opportunity to go play outside.

      Stop seeing everything so negative"


      TV shows did not raise me. My mother did. TV shows were simply a form of entertainment and in no way a replacement for time spent with a human.

      Call it being "negative" if you want, but I think your naive. Besides, a Microsoft robot? Come on!
    • At least this robot might create the opportunity to go play outside.

      Looking these threads makes me wonder if anyone actually reads the article (and no, I'm not new here, I know that few do).

      This is about a teddy bear that sits in the corner. The only thing that moves on it is its head. Not much of a robot! It doesn't appear to do anything more than act as an interface so that a parent could observe and possibly communicate with the child through VOIP.

      This would never replace a human. It's more of a co
  • The horror! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Richie1984 (841487) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:02AM (#11832742)
    The teddy bear sitting in the corner of the child's room might look normal, until his head starts following the kid around using a face recognition program

    Does anyone else think that this could be the scariest thing ever? Especially if they make a clown version?
  • agh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by c0dedude (587568) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:02AM (#11832745)
    I was wondering how long until a terrible BSOD joke, then I realized IT'S IN THE FUCKING POST! It's not funny anymore, folks! Let the dead horse rest in peace.
  • Yeah, yeah .... and in 10,000 years he'll pull out a strand of David's mother's hair and the aliens will briefly recreate his mother so he can be a real boy for a few hours ... Man, /. stories are just repeats from the past or repeats of the inevitable future nowadays.

    (Teddy from the movie with Haley Joel Osment: AI: Artificial Intelligence [imdb.com])

    Microsoft Robot is a Teddy Bear
  • Linux (Score:5, Funny)

    by BladeMelbourne (518866) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:03AM (#11832754)
    I give it two months before someone can boot Linux on it, and in 6 months they could do it without needing to solder...
  • BSOD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nmg196 (184961) * on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:04AM (#11832765)
    Why are there always the inevitable jokes about BSODs? They're from like, Windows 95 or 98 which is now at least 7 years old. I've NEVER seen 2000 or XP produce a blue screen of death EVER - and use it all day every day in many different capacities as a software developer.

    I know it's physically capable of a BSOD, but really, has anyone ever seen XP or 2000 SP3 actually BSOD on a regular basis. My experience is that XP itself is incredibly stable. Infinitely more so than 95 or 98.
    • Re:BSOD (Score:2, Informative)

      by igorthefiend (831721)
      Yes, I see it on a regular basis because my piece of shit Audigy 2 card has the "screech of death" problem which results in bluescreen goodness even under XP. Oh, deep joy.
      • That's interesting. I've had an Audigy 2 card in an XP box for close to 18 months and I've never had it screech or BSOD.
      • Re:BSOD (Score:3, Informative)

        by HD Webdev (247266)
        Yes, I see it on a regular basis because my piece of shit Audigy 2 card has the "screech of death" problem which results in bluescreen goodness even under XP. Oh, deep joy.

        Ahh, yes, the joys of having a $300 audio card that BSOD's because Windows doesn't deal with the drivers well. I had a very similar problem

        Remove all drivers in Safe Mode. Make sure nothing is in the 'Recycle (preserve viruses) Folder. Delete all temporary files. Reboot, and install up-to-date drivers.
    • Re:BSOD (Score:2, Informative)

      by patches (141288)
      Actually I have. Both 2000 and XP, both of which were the Pro version. I have to say that I believe the problem was that I had hardware problems on my motherboard, but I have seen both OSes BSOD on a regular basis...

      Patrick
    • Re:BSOD (Score:5, Funny)

      by millwall (622730) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:09AM (#11832801)
      "My experience is that XP itself is incredibly stable.

      Congratulations on getting a post that included this sentence to be modded "Informative" :-)
    • Only if the computer itself sucks, yes. But we already know where the problem lies there, right?
    • Re:BSOD (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Windows 2000 was easier to get to BSOD than even the first Windows 95, or (shudder) Win32s.

      C:\> ping localhost [enter] [F7] [enter] [f7] [enter] [f7] [enter]

      STOP CONDITION...

      Not fixed until SP4 (or was it 6?)...

      But yeah, I haven't seen XP BSOD without turning off "immidiately reboot on crash" either :-)
    • Re:BSOD (Score:4, Funny)

      by Vollernurd (232458) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:13AM (#11832832)
      Then you, sir, are using the wrong Screensaver [sysinternals.com].
    • Re:BSOD (Score:5, Informative)

      by fizze (610734) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:14AM (#11832846)
      Windows-XP has a "feature" (???) with which it is possible to manually crash a system by simply holding the right CTRL key and pressing the "Scroll Lock" key twice. This feature can be turned on by the following steps:

      1. Start regedit. (If you are unfamiliar with regedit, please refer to this FAQ)
      2. Navigate to:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\S ervic es\i8042prt\Parameters
      3. Create a new DWORD value and name it CrashOnCtrlScroll
      4. Right-click on this newly created value and click on Modify
      5. Enter 1 in the Value data field and click on OK.
      6. Close regedit and reboot your system.
      7. Now you can blue screen (crash) your system by holding the right CTRL key and pressing "Scroll Lock" twice.

      Note:

      Your system may reboot or show a blue screen whenever this crash is initiated. If your system reboots after initiating the crash, and you want to see the blue screen, follow these steps:

      1. Go to Control Panel > System
      2. Click on the Advanced tab
      3. Under Startup and Recovery, click the Settings button.
      4. Under System failure, uncheck the option Automatically restart.

      Happy crashing...

      cudos to http://www.tweakxp.com/article140073.aspx [tweakxp.com]
    • Re:BSOD (Score:2, Informative)

      You sir, are an idiot. I got a Toshiba Satellite A70 yesterday. It came with WinXP home. I promptly installed Win2k3 Server. After installing the ATI graphical drivers I got BSODs several times (before the Ctrl-Alt-Del box would appear).

      I'm a Linux user, and I have had blue screens on every Win OS between 95 and Win2k3 Server. Win 3 used to just freeze or drop back to DOS.
      • Re:BSOD (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bairy (755347) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:21AM (#11832911) Homepage
        You sir, are an idiot

        You can hardly personally insult on someone based on their opinion of something.
        In reality, a lot of 2000 and XP systems are pretty stable, and certainly don't BSOD enough for it to be called "regular" which is the point he was making.
        Is everyone who holds such a valid opinion "an idiot"?

      • Re:BSOD (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Zorilla (791636)
        You sir, are trying to install ATI Mobility drivers which are only provided by the computer manufacturer. If you have issues with the video drivers, take it up with Toshiba. I'm surprised they're even providing 2k3 drivers. HP seems to only offer XP drivers, which means we had to scrap a perfectly good laptop for our Windows 2000-only environment back in 2003 during a desert deployment I had in the Air Force.

        By the way, has Toshiba improved at all within the last couple of years? I've seen nothing but shit
    • Re:BSOD (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Why are there always the inevitable jokes about BSODs?

      That's what inevitable means.

    • Re:BSOD (Score:2, Funny)

      by camcorder (759720)
      I've NEVER seen 2000 or XP produce a blue screen of death EVER...
      Because Microsoft replaced the technology on win 2k and xp with Gray Screen of Shutdown.
    • Re:BSOD (Score:3, Informative)

      XPs default action is a blue screen is to reboot or so I've heard. I don't use XP so I don't know for sure but several people have said.
    • Re:BSOD (Score:3, Funny)

      by R.Caley (126968)
      has anyone ever seen XP or 2000 SP3 actually BSOD on a regular basis.

      yes.

      My experience is that XP itself is incredibly stable. Infinitely more so than 95 or 98.

      A three legged stool with one leg missing and a bad woodworm infestation standing on the back of an enraged bull being sodomised with a cheese grater in an earthquake zone is more stable than 98 or 95.

    • Re:BSOD (Score:2, Interesting)

      by g0hare (565322)
      Yeah, but only with bad hardware (one of the two processors was bad). Also with a bad memory chip. Otherwise - no. Of course I only support 12 servers and 200 XP workstations, that might not be a large enough sample.
    • Yes and I hated every moment of it :(
    • Re:BSOD (Score:3, Informative)

      by DrXym (126579)
      Well then you're in a small minority. While it is true that W2K / XP do not crash anywhere near as much as 95/98, they do crash and much more frequently than OS X or Linux.

      I'd say on average I get one or two BSODs in a month. Mostly this is driver related (e.g. Nvidia + HL2), but I have instances where the machine has blue screened for no apparant reason whatsoever. The machine was under some kind of load, e.g. a compiler + some apps and then *poof* it blue screened with some kind of NTOSKRNL exception. C

    • Re:BSOD (Score:3, Informative)

      by blahplusplus (757119)
      BSOD's still exist on XP, in particular in some nasty offending drivers or combination of software that conspires against your drivers. I've had BSOD's happen to me on brand new XP machines and we still get machines that have BSOD issues in XP, especially when its related to cheap hardware and poorly developed software and/or drivers for the cheap hardware (scanner, printer, whatever) in question.

      If you think XP is all that you are dreaming. I've seen XP machines so infested with spyware and whatnot that
  • by Quarters (18322) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:05AM (#11832770)
    My question is, if the toy BSOD does it take the kid with it?

    Yeah, because they've augmented BSODs with C4 explosives now. Glad you caught that. Now we are letting inanimate objects raise our kids!

    Yeah, this is new. Nevermind radios, TVs, arcades, game consoles, computers, the internet, Slashdot, etc....

  • by n1ywb (555767) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:05AM (#11832772) Homepage Journal
    KILL ALL HUMANS!!

    Do you think Bill Gates will keep a universal robot remote control in her bra like Mom?

  • by booyah (28487) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:06AM (#11832775)
    as a father of an amazingly cute 6 month old little girl, I have to say.

    "If you dont want to watch your kids, you shouldnt have had them". there its said, its out, and thats it.

    Personally the highlight of my day is coming home and spending the 5 or so hours with my wife and daughter. I spend the entire time playing with the little girl, its amazing what they do when you watch them, you can see their little outlooks forming, I really do think I have a good idea what she will be like in 3-4 years, as well as in 10-20 years. I really cant wait, but am enjoying every minute I have.

    Some may say that robots could make life easier when you want to do little things like cook dinner, or take a shower, stick the kid in a bouncy seat, or exersaucer and bring em with you. My daughter loves to watch me cook (from a safe splatter free distance).

    my $.02
    • As the Father of a 7year old girl i have to tell you: No. You have no idea what she will be like in 3-4 years nor in 10-20 years. Kids tend to grow up and get their own minds. Dont expect your kid to become what you imagine her to be. She will suprise you - and that is a very good thing.
    • Personally I think you're right. I think this is just more proof that a lot of people are starting to see kids as an "inconvenience" in a lot of ways. They didn't think everything out and realize that they wouldn't be able to do all of the activities they used to be able to do. So they sit their kids in front of the tv, or a bear with a webcam, and leave them alone.

      It's depressing. Even when I was watching cartoons as a kid my parents and grandparents still watched them with me.
  • Clippy (Score:5, Funny)

    by millwall (622730) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:06AM (#11832782)
    Robot with Clippy's voice:

    "Hi kid! It looks like you are peeing, do you want me to help?"
  • by RayTardo (779153) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:08AM (#11832789)
    Now we are letting inanimate objects raise our kids!

    You've obviously never hired a teenage babysitter...
  • When will it end? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by marktoml (48712) *
    Not until society* changes. Too often children are as much a status symbol as anything. I have seen parents, both professionals (Doctor, Lawyer, etc.) with full-time careers who:
    -have children
    -raised by nanny
    -in school at 3 years (pre-school)

    How much time are they committing to this? Why not a robot, probably cheaper.

    *By society here I am (sadly) referring to American society.

    • Re:When will it end? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tyresyas (826753)
      Because the concept of a British nanny and boarding schools for young ages came from American society...
    • MOD PARENT UP (Score:3, Insightful)

      The parent poster makes a damn good point.

      Technology is not a substitute for people and American culture is becoming so enamoured with technology to the point of forgetting what matters- family, values, and human contact.

      Of course who's to say in the far future that we'll have robots that imitate humans so well that some robots are more emphatic and caring than some people that walk the earth.
  • by windowpain (211052) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:09AM (#11832804) Journal
    1) A robot may not use a non-Microsoft product or through inaction, allow a human being to use a non-Microsoft product.

    2) A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

    3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
  • by glnorris (301339) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:09AM (#11832805)
    I wonder; if the inanimate object had been driven by Linux it would make the independants happier?

    In a sense, we've been letting inanimate objects help raise our children for a LONG time, from stuffed dolls to cradles.

    Microsoft builds something that probably serves as a monitor, and suddenly this tool is evil.

    If Microsoft develops a screwdriver, will people refuse to use it?

    • If Microsoft develops a screwdriver not only will it require special screws but if, by some means, you are able to use it with another screw make it will reconfigure that so that only the MS screwdriver will work from there on.

      Seriously, yes there are people that won't use anything stamped with Microsoft. Except and X-Box or a mouse or a keyboard, but they are different because they are kewl. It's possible to colour everything that Microsoft do as evil if you want to.
    • It's sad to see people who spent their lives in search of things to make lives easier. Then when someone else they don't like finds a way, they will stop their own progress and shake a poisionous finger at them stating how they are ruining the world with their inventions.

      I am glad to see someone else can observe the thick veil of hypocracy people seem to take when MS is involved. I believe that if MS did develop a better screwdriver, that you would see a great number of people decry that all screwdrive
  • by Nine Tenths of The W (829559) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:10AM (#11832811)
    Michael Jackson announces a sudden decision to become a cyborg.
  • by bigattichouse (527527) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:11AM (#11832819) Homepage
    That job would belong to television thank you very much. Why every one of my 9 kids here in the trailor park wuz done raised good on TV. How many slashdotters remember the jingle sung by a cowboy on CBS, "After the messegez, weee'll be rigghhht back"... Inanimate objects have been raising our kids for 50 years.. and it shows.
  • by FidelCatsro (861135) <[fidelcatsro] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:12AM (#11832824) Journal
    Are You Sarah Conner
    Well Im here to babysit your child.
    you can Download driver updates at MSky.net
    Thank you for updating The babysiters web browser Please reboot me
    Ill be back
  • All right! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Zorilla (791636) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:13AM (#11832841)
    We've been waiting 20 years for the 2005 equivilant of Teddy Ruxpin, who scared the shit out of kids everywhere back in the 80s. The day has finally come!
    • by white1827 (848173)
      A friend of mine got a Teddy Ruxpin for his birthday. He didn't like it. Of course it was his 16th birthday... Yay clueless aunt.
  • And how long untill some child molester puts a camera in one? Can't be difficult to put in a wireless webcam sit int he park opposit with a laptop and record it all... I can't think of many little kids who would even think that undressing infront of the thing maybe an issue.
  • I also hear they've developed a new version of XP for the robots; the Distributed Autonomous Vehicle Realtime Operating System. DAVROS will provide superior reliablility and control over robot operations.
  • by windowpain (211052) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:21AM (#11832916) Journal
    "Except for any refund elected by Microsoft, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ANY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, if the Robot wrecks everything you own and KILLS YOUR FREAKIN' KID."
  • Now we are letting inanimate objects raise our kids! When will it end?

    I'd say sometime after 2029 A.D. [wikipedia.org]

  • The next step will be the MSBot being outsourced to a cheaper bot in India who'll watch over you kid via an internet cam.

    Either way, I'm sure they'll do a better job than most parents.

  • Inanimate? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Peyna (14792) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:38AM (#11833041) Homepage
    Now we are letting inanimate objects raise our kids! When will it end?

    What good is an inanimate robot?
  • by LighthouseJ (453757) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:51AM (#11833134)
    The article just says Microsoft is showing a prototype, not that your own house will be filled with Microsoft robots this evening, so calm down.

    Prototype != Product on Shelves

    Look at car companies, they've been making prototypes for a long time, usually to see how the market responds to a design to test the waters so the vehicle doesn't dive when it's released. Plus, back in the '80's, remember when robots were supposed to be the "new thing", they had robots on display doing household chores, living up to the Jetsons ideal house. As far as I can see the only persistent robot presence is the prohibitively expensive Roomba vacuum cleaner which itself can't be too complex of a robot.

    I guess people just want to regurgitate more BSOD jokes at Microsoft's undefensible expensive. Good job on the originality, guys...
  • HEADLINE (Score:3, Funny)

    by DrDebug (10230) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @01:16PM (#11835381) Journal
    MICROSOFT ROBOT ATTACKS FIREFOX USER

    (ap) A brief but violent incident between a new Microsoft 'nanny' robot and an Internet user was reported today.

    "I had just activated the nanny robot and placed it next to my keyboard when I tried to access the Internet for further instructons" said the victim. "Suddenly the robot attacked me, biting my hands and trying to chew off my fingers. I just barely escaped. I had to beat the robot to death with my baseball bat. The only thing I can imagine why it attacked was because I was using the Firefox browser, and not Internet Explorer."

    The visibly-shaken victim's injuries were treated at a local hospital, and he was released. Microsoft had no comment, other than to say there will be a patch issued soon.

    --30--
  • by SharpFang (651121) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @01:18PM (#11835402) Homepage Journal
    The child has performed an illegal operation and will be terminated.
  • Danger! (Score:3, Funny)

    by sPaKr (116314) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @07:36PM (#11839573)
    Danger Will Gates, Danger DANGER!
  • by TPFH (92944) on Friday March 04, 2005 @01:10AM (#11841683) Homepage Journal
    Oh Superman [bbc.co.uk]
    'Cause when love is gone, there's always justice. And when justive is gone, there's always force. And when force is gone, there's always Mom. Hi Mom! So hold me, Mom, in your long arms. So hold me, Mom, in your long arms. In your automatic arms. Your electronic arms. In your arms. So hold me, Mom, in your long arms. Your petrochemical arms. Your military arms. In your electronic arms.
    Here come the planes.... [gatech.edu]

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