About robots, robot development
and those who make it happen


  • Type, Locomotion:
  • Humanoid
  • Released:
  • 1997
  • Kismet

    Kismet is a humanoid robot designed and created in 1997 by the robotics experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, under the leadership of Dr. Cynthia Breazeal. The name Kismet was lifted from the Arabic or Kurdish word meaning fate or luck.

    Kismet was intended to participate in human social interaction with demonstrations of simulated human emotion and appearance. With these goals, this robot was equipped with different input devices that gave it auditory, visual, and proprioception abilities. Human emotions are simulated through facial expressions, vocalizations, and simple movements.

    The visual capabilities of Kismet were enabled by CCD cameras, while auditory signals were carried by a small microphone into a 500 MHz PC running Linux. Voice recognition and speech synthesis were processed by the software developed by spoken Language Systems Group.

    Kismet has traveled a long path from being just an ordinary product of robotics and research. It has been featured in several media outfits, such as NBC and Discover Magazine. It landed a small role in Steve Reich’s opera titled “The Tree Tales”, where it was used as the symbol of artificial intelligence. Furthermore, its replica was part of a traveling exhibit aptly called “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination”.



    • Simulates human emotions
    • Capable of voice recognition
    • Simple vocalization
    • Operated by a social intelligence software system designed after the six subsystems of intelligent behavior in humans




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