Kismet, Leonardo, and other creations from Cynthia Breazeal's Personal Robotics Group (VIDEO).

The most innovative and practical thinkers of our time.
Aug. 1 2011 12:52 PM

Make Friends With the Robots of Tomorrow

Watch Kismet, Leonardo, and other creations from Cynthia Breazeal's Personal Robotics Group.

Slate's list of the 25 Americans who combine inventive genius and practicality—our best real-world problem solvers. Read more about how we chose them.

MIT's Cynthia Breazeal wants her Personal Robotics Group to invent automatons that can interact with people, not just serve them. Below, watch the robot Kismet, which she created as a part of her doctoral thesis, display some human-like contrition after receiving a scolding.

Another Breazeal robot, the cuddly Leonardo, picks up on human emotions and learns from interactions. In this case, he learns to be wary of Cookie Monster.

In December 2010, Breazeal took the stage at TED Women to discuss "The Rise of Personal Robots," including a weight-loss coach named Autom that was developed by one of her grad students at MIT.


Return to Breazeal's profile.

Check out the rest of our technology Top Right:

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of

David Ferrucci, lead researcher for IBM's Watson project.

Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy.

Brian Tucker, president of GeoHazards International.

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 

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