Social robotics has a research area in Universities for a while, looking into interface with robots that are based around our social cues, or modelling social cues to understand neurodiversity such as Autism. Some great work by companies such Aldebaran Robotics (https://www.aldebaran.com/en) with their Nao and Pepper robots have raised the profile of social robotics.
People like Cynthia Breazeal leading on this:
What I find most exciting is these robots are now they are coming into the home.
At the entry level in terms of price, and very well featured, is the OhBot (http://ohbot.weebly.com/). This is a is a kit for a robot head with a Scratch-like interface having face-detection, some speech recognition in the current version; controlling several servos to get facial movement. It has provided hours of fun so far (see the video below). This is a great bit of kit for its price.
Jibo has been developed by a company headed by Cynthia Breazeal. It is not yet released (end of 2015/beginning of 2016) but the videos make it look very interesting. A stationary robot that seems to be about providing a social interface to many of things we do.
A robot soon to be released by Bullfrog Robotics (http://www.bluefrogrobotics.com/buddy-your-companion-robot/) . This is an incredible cute robot.
It is a good time: 1 Introduction
All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with.