RoboBonobo project hits Kickstarter.
The project at the Bonobo Hope Great Ape Trust Sanctuary wants to see the apes given personal, internet connected keyboards they can carry around with them to better communicate with people and other apes.
As well as letting the apes communicate with humans, it is hoped the software can be developed to work the other way:
It is also useful for humans if they can just speak the sentences and have the app translate them automatically to visual lexigram sequences.
And the creepy robot pictured above? That’s the next step in the project, which would allow the apes to control a robotic ape:
Finally, we would like the bonobos to use the Bonobo Chat app to control their environment using simple lexigram commands - to operate vending machines, open doors, watch movies and, hopefully, to control robots. We believe that controlling robots might be a good way for the bonobos to interact with guests and visitors outside their caged areas. They could play chase games or squirt guests with an an on board watergun. They could operate the robot out of site by navigating using an on board camera.