The first people to stop by our demos were a few groups of children between the ages of five and ten. They ran up to where we were sitting by the bookstore, having seen PLEO, and asked “Is that a real dinosaur?”
When we told them that it was a robotic dinosaur, some asked, “What does it do?”
Others lost interest once they realized that it was fake.
This indicated to me that without an interest in programming, these children were more interested in the robot as a toy. If they couldn’t perceive it as real anymore, they usually didn’t care much for it.
People above the age of thirty usually started off by asking if we made the robots or if we were selling them. A lot of people hesitated to come up to the demonstration because they thought we were selling them.
Someone did ask of the gender of the robot, but usually they assigned a gender to the robot based on the name of the robot. Leslie was the only girl, the others were all boys.
Older people also asked what we were doing with the robot and what the end goal was. College aged students would usually just ask what we were doing out there. Most people would not come over unless encouraged.
The actual programming side is too complex with people that don’t have too much experience with robotics. Their questions were more simple. People definitely liked to control the robot, though. However, they didn’t like the hassle of going through the steps of controlling the robots themselves.
But people mostly don’t want to go through the trouble of learning programming. In order to be intereseted you have to have a natural want to learn more about it.