Simon is a socially aware machine that can take live, real world inputs (from cameras, microphones and sensors) and respond to them in human-friendly ways. The aim of the shell design was to strike a balance between machine/appliance-like aesthetics and friendly, human-like characteristics. The robot also needed to appear youthful, suggesting a creature that is in a mode of continuous learning and observation.
This work is currently ongoing at the Socially Intelligent Machines research lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology under the auspices of Dr. Andrea Thomaz.
Simon was featured on the cover of the "TR35" issue of Technology Review in October 2009. Engadget, the online gadget blog, called Simon a "handsome little fellow" and "insanely cute". We are all so proud.