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Rediff.com  » Business » Now, a robot that can smile and grimace

Now, a robot that can smile and grimace

January 10, 2013 16:34 IST

A robotScientists have developed a new 'empathetic' robot that can go through a range of baby expressions, including smiling, grimacing and frowning.

The robot baby called Diego-San is modelled on a one-year-old child and a YouTube video shows its face reflecting a series of emotions including happiness, sadness, alarm, puzzlement and anger.

The robot can even crumple its face and bite its bottom lip just like a child about to burst into tears, the Daily Mail reported.

Using Artificial Intelligence modelled on the behaviour of human babies it is designed to learn from what it experiences, just as children do.

The robot baby was created by specialists from Hanson Robotics for the Machine Perception Lab at the University of California San Diego's Institute for Neural Computation.

High definition cameras have been built into Diego-San to enable it to see people's gestures and expressions.

A material the robotic team call 'frubber' is used to form the flexible skin of Diego-San and other robots they have created.

Facial expressions are an important part of a baby's communication and help them establish a relationship with the people around them.

The robotic baby has been upgraded from a previous version and among the improvements was an improved jaw which was completely rebuilt.

Dr David Hanson, of Hanson Robotics, believes that getting robots to understand and make facial expressions is an important part of teaching them empathy.

His aim is to be able to make them intelligent and empathetic and he believes such emotional comprehension is much more important than being able to build robots designed for warfare.

The image used is for representation purpose only

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