Designer Stefan Ulrich made a huge step in interaction design with something we used to call "robot". Look at this soft and wobbly something. A mix of pillow and robot. With this you should also be able to do "intelligent conversation". Ulrich says about the work:
Based on an intensive two month research (in cooperation with FESTO Germany and the EMPA Switzerland) concerning artificial muscles (electroactive polymers) my work reflects upon how new technologies will change future products (and society), and the way we interact with them.
2009 will end as a year of "emotional robotics". More and more concepts arrive, that try to address an emotional relationship between moving machines we like to call "robots" and humans. Lately it was for example this air-breathing toy sloth, this floor wiping worm, this laughing machine or this cute human-robot-interaction study.
PS: For the ones interested, there is also a [making of Funktionide}(http://vimeo.com/5421831) available.