Nov. 25, 2008 Robots that develop and display emotions as they interact with humans, and become attached to them, will be exhibited at the ICT’08 event organized by the European Commission in Lyon next week.
Dr Lola Cañamero, of the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Computer Science, is co-ordinating a European project which is developing robots that are capable of growing emotionally, responding to humans and of expressing their own emotional states as they interact with people.
Prototypes of some of these robots showing mid-term project results will be exhibited at ICT 2008, Europe's leading information and communication technologies event, which will take place in Lyon from 25-27 November 2008.
The project, FEELIX GROWING (FEEL, Interact, eXpress: a Global approach to development With Interdisciplinary Grounding; funded by the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Commission, aims to develop autonomous robots which will be capable of interacting with humans in everyday environments, and will learn and develop emotionally, socially and cognitively in accordance with the needs and personalities of the individuals with which they associate.
“The aim is to develop robots that grow up and adapt to humans in everyday environments,” said Dr Cañamero. “If robots are to be truly integrated in humans’ everyday lives as companions or carers, they cannot be just taken off the shelf and put into a real-life setting, they need to live and grow interacting with humans, to adapt to their environment.”
At ICT 2008, Dr Cañamero and the project’s international team of researchers will explain and demonstrate this approach using live interactive demonstrations and videos. Live demonstrations will include a baby pet robot learning to control its stress as it explores a new environment helped by a human caregiver, several robotic heads that show facial emotional responses to humans’ faces and voices, humanoid robots that learn to execute simple tasks by observing and imitating humans, and an interactive floor that responds to human touch and movement with different light and sound patterns. Videos and demonstrations will also show how non-human primates (chimpanzees) react to some of these robots.
The other players in the FEELIX GROWING project are: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France; Université de Cergy Pontoise, France; Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland; University of Portsmouth, UK; Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, Greece; Entertainment Robotics, Denmark; and SAS Aldebaran Robotics, France.
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