Researchers create emotional robot

June 25, 2009 | 14:02

Tags: #robot #robotics

Companies: #waseda-university

Boffins at the Waseda University in Japan – who have clearly never been warned by visions of Arnie in The Terminator – have succeeded in producing a humanoid robot which has seven human emotions.

According to an article over on The Telegraph, the robot – dubbed Kobian – is able to make known its feelings of delight, surprise, sadness, and even dislike via movable lips, eyelids, eyebrows, and limbs.

While the pictures and video over on Pink Tentacle demonstrate that Kobian has some way to go before it'll be masquerading as a human in infiltrating the last bastions of the human resistance, it's certainly a step forward in producing robots that are able to communicate with humans on a deeper level than ever before.

While Kobian has all the features you'd expect of a modern robot – including the ability to walk upright around its environment and perform physical tasks – it's in the expression of digital emotion that it excels. Should Kobian be made to feel sad, it will hang its head in inconsolable robot grief and perform the international “facepalm” gesture of despair.

As appears to be traditional for Japanese robots, the team behind Kobian – lead by Professor Atsuo Takanashi at the Waseda University Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering – believes that its expressive abilities would make it ideal for use in the nursing field, offering aid and companionship to the country's growing elderly population.

Does Kobian seem like a step forward in robotics to you, or are you still waiting for an Arnie-alike which will inevitably feel the all-too-human emotion of murderous rage. Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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