27 December 2019
A child wearing a red ski-suit
The shiny, black robotic arm gleamed as it whirred into action and ‘waved’ at us, accompanied by Alexa’s robotic, yet (somehow) cheery, disembodied greeting, “Hello! My name is MICO.” Mohit Shridhar stretched his lanky frame across the counter to place plastic replicas of a few everyday objects—a red bowl, an apple, and a banana—on the white tablecloth in front of MICO. Then Shridhar instructed, “Alexa, tell MICO to pick up the apple.” The robotic arm contorted and whirred until it held its gripper over the apple. “Do you mean this?” Alexa asked. “Alexa, tell MICO to go ahead,” Shridhar confirmed. MICO obediently, albeit mechanically, lowered its gripper and picked up the apple.