Emotion robots learn from people
Making robots that interact with people emotionally is the goal of a European project led by British scientists.
Feelix Growing is a research project involving six countries, and 25 roboticists, developmental psychologists and neuroscientists.
Co-ordinator Dr Lola Canamero said the aim was to build robots that "learn from humans and respond in a socially and emotionally appropriate manner".
The 2.3m euros scheme will last for three years.
"The human emotional world is very complex but we respond to simple cues, things we don't notice or we don't pay attention to, such as how someone moves," said Dr Canamero, who is based at the University of Hertfordshire.
The project involves building a series of robots that can take sensory input from the humans they are interacting with and then adapt their behaviour accordingly.
The robots exhibit imprinted behaviour - following the 'mother around'
Dr Canamero likens the robots to babies that learn their behaviour from the patterns of movement and emotional state of the world around them.
The robots themselves are simple machines - and in some cases they are off-the-shelf machines. The most interesting aspect of the project is the software.
Dr Canamero said: "We will use very simple robots as the hardware, and for some of the machines we will build expressive heads ourselves.
"We are most interested in programming and developing behavioural capabilities, particularly in social and emotional interactions with humans."
The robots will learn from the feedback they receive from humans.
"It's mostly behavioural and contact feedback.
"Tactile feedback and emotional feedback through positive reinforcement, such as kind words, nice behaviour or helping the robot do something if it is stuck."
The university's partners are building different robots focusing on different emotional interactions.
The robots will get the feedback from simple vision cameras, audio, contact sensors, and sensors that can work out the distance between the machine and the humans.
"One of the things we are going to use to detect expressions in faces and patterns in motion is a (artificial) neural network."
Artificial neural networks are being used because they are very useful for adapting to changing inputs - in this case detecting patterns in behaviour, voice, movement etc.
"Neural networks learn patterns from examples of observation," said Dr Canamero.
One of the areas the robots will be learning from is human movement.
"Motion tells you a lot about your emotional state.
"The physical proximity between human and robot, and the frequency of human contact - through those things we hope to detect the emotional states we need."
The robots will not be trying to detect emotional states such as disgust but rather will focus on states such as anger, happiness, loneliness; emotions which impact on how the robot should behave.
"It is very important to detect when the human user is angry and the robot has done something wrong or if the human is lonely and the robot needs to cheer him or her up.
"We are focusing on emotions relevant to a baby robot that has to grow and help human with every day life."
One of the first robots built in the project is exhibiting imprinted behaviour - which is found among birds and some mammals when born.
"They get attached to the first object they see when born.
"It is usually the mother and that's what makes them follow the mother around.
"We have a prototype of a robot that follows people around and can adapt to the way humans interact with it.
"It follows closer or further away depending on how the human feels about it."
Dr Canamero says robots that can adapt to people's behaviours are needed if the machines are to play a part in human society.
At the end of the project two robots will be built which integrate the different aspects of the machines being developed across Europe.
The other partners in this project are the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Universite de Cergy Pontoise, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, University of Portsmouth, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, Greece, Entertainment Robotics, Denmark and SAS Aldebaran Robotics, France.
Article from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6389105.stm
US robot builds copies of itself
Pentagon Prepares To Build $130bn Robot Army
Warbots to Replace Human Soldiers?
New Super-Gun from Metal Storm Inc.
Robot Demonstrates Self Awareness
Pentagon plans cyber-insect army
Remote Control Rodent 'Ratbots' Pass First Tests
Latest News from our Front Page
Residents of Dresden Wake up to Find Overnight, City Park Has Been Turned Into Migrant Camp For 2,000
The German city which dared to stand-up to their government’s policy of accepting Islamisation and mass migration appears to have been punished for dissent by the zero-notice imposition of a migrant camp.
Government employees stood by the entrance of a city park in Dresden, Saxony on Thursday night handing out fliers to passers-by informing them the next day the green space, ...
Dead LA man who had 1,200 guns, underwater car identified; believed to be 'part alien' secret government worker
The mystery behind a Los Angeles gun fanatic found decomposing in a car last week has deepened as his fiancée's family said he was an alien-hybrid secretly working for the government.
The bizarre statement came Wednesday as the betrothed woman's lawyer identified the dead man as Jeffrey Alan Lash — almost one week after he was discovered rotting in his car ...
Britain Under Siege: Hundreds of Illegals Storm Eurotunnel Every Night
The volume of illegals trying to gain access to the United Kingdom via the railway tunnel beneath the English Channel is now so great, hundreds storm the French terminal every night.
Hoping to stow away on-board lorries or to ‘train surf’ to England, the migrants – of which there are an estimated 5,000 in the town of Calais at any one ...
Detroit's black rape gangs target couples
Victims forced into alleys, men made to watch sex assault on female companions
In a developing story, a gang of rapists in Detroit is terrorizing citizens in the crime-ridden city. Detroit police are looking for as many as six suspects after two rape and robbery incidents occurred on Thursday night within hours of each other. The same group may be responsible ...
Satanic statue unveiled in Detroit
Christians protest after the Satanic Temple unveils bronze Baphomet statue featuring a human body, goat’s head and wings.
Several hundred people have attended a Mass at a US Catholic church to protest against an eight and a half-foot (2.6-metre)-tall bronze statue of Satan that hundreds of people also lined up to see.
The Satanic Temple had said it would unveil the ...
|More News » |