Have you ever wished for your very own creature companion? I grew up with Falkors and have always dream't of building friendships with the gremlins and troll like creatures i would see in cinema. I had a very vivid imagination as a child even well into adult hood. My favorite imagination game as a child was catching imaginary gremlins on the way to school with my older sister. We would blame them for every accident or mysterious thing that would happen.
Our relationship with creatures of make believe is a mystery but an inevitable one. There is something about embracing a non human object or creatures autonomy. Although we make believe our childhood companions they simply autonomously exist within the rules of our imagination often making mistakes the same way we do. However they are far easier to forgive. Therefore the relationship between a human and a non human agent is not only inevitable but perhaps necessary for social development. Our creatures teach us to accept things that are beyond us or too difficult to understand.
Perhaps non human agents will continue to fascinate us and augment our lives. Our make-shift citizens help us embrace the diversity of nature, humans come in all shapes and sizes, ethnicity, languages and worldviews. We are fond of creating bonds between the beauty and the beast.
These scruffy, silly, friendly, monsters will continue to inspire me on this journey. My pursuit social robotics research is fueled by the possibility of life happening in the ugliest of places under the most unpleasant circumstances. From the smallest to the greatest my childhood wouldn't have been the same with out my whimsy companions.
And of course: