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The robot was taught to express emotions with creeps and spines on the skin

Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship Lab / YouTube

American engineers have created a robot that can simulate emotions and express them in many ways. To do this, the robot has a screen on which its face with facial expressions is displayed, as well as artificial leather, on which goosebumps and spines may appear, depending on what emotion the robot shows, IEEE Spectrum reports . The article with the description of the robot was presented at the conference RoboSoft 2018.

Since people often perceive social robots rather as animate beings, rather than as tools, robots designed to interact with humans should not only be able to perform their basic duties, but also behave like living beings. In addition to realistic gait and shape, they also need to be able to simulate emotions in response to human actions. Usually, an integrated screen is used for this, which displays a face with facial expressions, and sometimes a voice response to external stimuli.

Engineers led by Guy Hoffman (Guy Hoffman) from Cornell University created a prototype robot that can transmit its internal state through a tactile response. To do this, they equipped the robot with two panels, fixed on the sides. Their outer surface is made of a soft elastomer, in which delicate areas of two kinds, sensitive to pressure, are created. One species at high pressure turns into a protruding hemisphere, and the second in a similar hemisphere but with a spike at the end. Under the elastomer is a chamber, which is divided into two independent areas, each of which belongs to the same type of inflatable hemispheres. With the help of syringes and attached actuators, the robot can increase the pressure in the areas of the chamber and inflate this or that kind of pimples.

In addition to the tactile response, the robot can express different emotions and through the face on the screen:

Recently, other American scientists have conducted a large study of robots expressing emotions through facial expressions on the screen and figured out which features of robots most affect their friendliness in the eyes of people. And Korean engineers  have created a robot tortoise, which can express emotions in different ways and is designed to teach children humane treatment of robots.

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