In a bid to portray robots as more than just cold, expressionless automata, boffins in Japan have come up with a cunning plan.
Make them laugh, make them cry, make them sigh, make them moan.
It’s not a totally original concept. After all Marvin, the Paranoid Android in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe was oft-struck with angst and a cosmic kind of melancholy.
According to Japanese wire nikkei.net, scientists from Waseda University have had intercourse with robot company Tsmuk Ltd to create a machine that can express seven emotions.
The Kobian robot’s face is controlled by a number of motors that change its expression and the next step in this great step forward will be to make the Kobian express the emotions er, automatically.
With over six billion people on the planet, it could be just the breakthrough we’re looking for. Many people find it difficult to express emotions and will be able to do so soon by proxy.
There’s a Youtube vid of Kobian, here. Look like crocodile tears to me.