Waseda, Japan - They really do like their robots in Japan. Now, it seems, they want their robots to like them back. Researchers at Waseda University claim they have developed a humanoid robot which can express human emotions.
We reported on this robot a while ago, but it was formally launched yesterday,
The Emotional Humanoid Robot, also known as Kobian, can display delight, surprise, sadness, disgust and dislike, though different poses and facial movements. To show sadness, for example, it hunches over, hangs its head and holds a hand to its face. It can also walk around, perceive and interact with its environment and perform simple tasks.
The developers reckon that equipping a robot to show emotion will make it more suitable for interaction with humans - particularly important given the enthusiasm in Japan for robots that can help with the care of old people and children.
Not all the company's robots are so friendly. It recently launched a security robot which detects intruders through their body heat and automatically alerts a human via a cellphone - and which then attempts to catch them by throwing a net.