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Ethics and Technology
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Ethics and Technology


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© Image by the author

Emilio says hi!


Emiglio is a nostalgic remnant of the 80s and 90s robotic toys. He (or it?) currently resides at the NEST Cultural Centre in the Hague, greeting visitors. First produced by the Giochi Preziosi Toy Company in 1989 under the slogan ‘Emiglio é meglio!’ (Emiglio is better!), he quickly became the most desired Christmas present for kids.

He can hold things, move, turn in circles, light up its eyes and ‘talk’ through a microphone with manual control and a speaker in the helmet. He stands today as a reminder and an acknowledgement of an emotional connection we develop towards (especially humanoid) robots. His bright colors and smile represent nostalgia, yearning for the childhood days, and document our fascination with robotics. But, 40 years later, how much more do we understand about these emotional connections?