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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Building a Search Bot for Kids

Searchbots is like building (rolling) your own search engine for kids. The process of building your searchbot parallels building a real robot: you choose which parts you want your bot to have, install search circuits, and tell it what to search for (tags). It has a fun flavor that's missing in other custom search engines like Rollyo and Google Custom Search.

You can change how your bot behaves by changing its search chip. A Tags chip will make it search by keyword while an Ask question chip will make it respond to queries in question form. There are also color, location, and, coming up, mood search chips. Search results are presented in thumbnail format, as you can see below. Results aren't perfect so it's good that you can rate them.
If you had a feeling of deja vu while reading this post, it's because Searchbots is a holdover from the (first?) Internet bubble that been re-purposed as a research project on experimental search engines.


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