World Bulletin / News Desk
Italian scientists have designed a human-like robot that can display several human emotions - from fear, amazement, disgust to happiness.
Roboticists from the University of Pisa, Italy, drawing on 30 years of research, built one that uses 32 motors in 'her' face to simulate different expressions, to the point where a robot looks almost realistic enough to pass for a human. It has been named FACE.
The university team, led by doctoral student Nicole Lazzeri from Pisa, modelled the robot on one of the team's wives.
The team used software called Hybrid Engine for Facial Expressions Synthesis (HEFES), which has been built up over the last 30 years to mimic human emotional responses.
It tells the motors how to respond in order to recreate a look, and the software can mix the various emotions on a sliding scale, for instance a smile tinged with sadness, or a laugh mixed with unease.
The research team reportedly asked five autistic and 15 non-autistic children to identify a set of expressions performed by FACE, and then the same expressions performed by a psychologist.
Both groups could identify happiness, anger and sadness, but they struggled more with fear, disgust and surprise.
Johnson, kicking off a trip to Japan, visited the robotic centre at Waseda University, which works closely with Britain's University of Birmingham on robotic technologies.
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