Big tech is getting serious about robotics.
But inside Intel's small robotics lab in Santa Clara, Calif., engineers and computer scientists are working to ensure a better smartphone, tablet and laptop experience better by making the devices more responsive to touch.
Intel is working with a variety of the world's biggest phone and computer manufacturers, as well as other consumer electronics companies, on making their products better. For proprietary and competitive reasons, Intel won't disclose any of the companies with which it is collaborating.
(Read more: Robots, self-driving cars—what's Google doing?)
The Intel robots are serving a specific purpose in this endeavor, lowering the cost of expensive focus groups and product testing with hundreds of beta users.
A group of cognitive psychologists craft a questionnaire for focus groups: How does your phone feel next to your ear? Do you like the swiping action on your tablet? Are you satisfied with your laptop's scrolling action?
After being crunched, the data from all those focus groups reside in the robot's computer memory. The robot does a number of tests on what people like and don't like about using their smart devices, conducting meticulous measurement and analysis of eye and hand movements.
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