Researchers at Waseda University in Japan have unveiled Kobian, a humanoid robot that walks, talks and realistically expresses 7 human emotions.
Kobian can express himself (herself?) by not only using facial movements, but combines them with other body movement and postures for a surprisingly realistic display of 7 human emotions, including delight, surprise, sadness and dislike.
Japanese researchers have built in small motors and servos into the robot's head and face that move it's lips, eyes and neck in response to external stimuli. The robot can walk around, perceive things happening around it and respond appropriately. It has also been programmed to perform different tasks.
The team who is developing Kobian are from Waseda Universitie's Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering in Tokyo, working alongside Japanese robot manufacturer Tmsuk, based in Kitakyushu, southern Japan. They hope to continue development of the robots to one day put them to work in health and home care of patients with conditions that limit their mobility, where the robots would perform simple tasks in somewhat of a nursing capacity.
The researchers say that the robot expressing emotions is so important because it better equips them to interact with the humans they'll be helping.