I thought boxes were the best toy. When my parents got a new car, I ran to my mother and said, 'Did it come in a box?'
Robotics has been around forever, and it's been the next big thing forever, and it is so exciting and compelling that it's easy to get carried away. People almost always do, and that's one of the things that has held back the industry.
Building a robot that has legs and walks around is a very expensive proposition. Mother Nature has created many wonderful things, but one thing we do have that nature doesn't is the wheel, a continuous rotating joint, and tracks, so we need to make use of inventions to make things simpler.
The way that the robotics market is going to grow, at least in the home, is that we'll have a number of different special purpose robots.
People are fascinated by robots because they're machines that can mimic life.
Robotic toys can be very interesting, but it is important that the toy not 'dictate' how the child should play with it. Rather, it should take its cues from the child and enhance, teach, and enrich the play experience. We incorporated some of these features into a robotic baby doll we built for Hasbro in 1999.
When we built Roomba, we explicitly designed it to not have a face. We didn't want to think it was cute; we wanted people to take it seriously, so we gave it more of an industrial look. People personified their Roomba anyway. Over 80 percent of people name their robot. We did nothing to encourage people to do that, but they do it anyway.