Boxie the robot will kill you with cuteness

How could you say no to this cute little face?

Screenshot by Bonnie Cha/CNET)

We know Superman’s weakness is kryptonite, but what about the rest of us mortals? What can bring us to our knees and turn us into a pile of goo? Cuteness, that’s what.

Meet Boxie, the cutest cardboard robot to ever roam Earth. Boxie is the creation of a team researchers at MIT’s Media Lab, who set out on a project to gather stories from people with only the help of machines. Of course, part of the challenge there is to get humans to open up to a robot, but the solution turned out to be pretty simple: make the robot adorable.

Led by researcher Alexander Reben, the group from MIT designed Boxie out of cardboard and equipped it with a microprocessor, a board that generates audio, and some sensors, among other things.

Reben said they originally made Boxie out of white plastic but the end result was rather scary looking, so they made the switch to cardboard. Not only more friendly looking, cardboard also kept the cost, complexity, and weight down, allowing the team to create more Boxies.

Once released into the wild, Boxie would ask strangers various questions, ranging from something simple like, “I’m really short. Can you put me on a table or hold me, so I can see you?” to something more personal, such as “Can you tell me what you do here?” The cardboard cutie did this a… [Read more]

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