Cyberpunk Review » Robots get Emotional (but not emo)

July 31, 2008

Robots get Emotional (but not emo)

Two stories this week shows the ever-going robot evolution now includes emotions… or at least some acting ability.

Kokoro’s DER-2 Actroid Makes Acting Debut In Commercial

Story originally from Pink Tentacle. This fifteen second spot for Preshower shows an eerily lifelike (from a distance anyway) fembot whose acting can rival some Oscar contenders:


Will you (heart) Heart Robot? Also, A Robotic Love Story to Rival Wall-E and EVE.

Report from the BBC on July 29. The University of the West of England’s David McGoran has created a robot/puppet that uses a flashing “heart” to show its “emotional state.”

The Heart Robot could be among the first robots to signify a new era of “emotional machines” used for medical treatment and enjoyment, according to one of its inventors.

David McGoran, of the University of the West of England, predicts the part-puppet, part-machine creation he helped develop is an example of how robots will increasingly adopt human characteristics.

McGoran hopes to develop more sophisticated “emotional machines” for social care. More information can be found at the Heart Robot Site.


There’s also a video of McGoran taking Heart Robot to see Micromagic Systems’ “ic Hexapod,” a spider-bot with face recognition and tracking. The one on the BBC site may not work, so here’s the one on YouTube (though the first thirty seconds don’t play):

This post has been filed under Rise of the Robots, News as Cyberpunk by Mr. Roboto.


July 31, 2008

RoBo said:

I think the presenter touches on some very good points in this video, including how robots will not only have to express, but to read emotion as well in order to interact with humans in the situations he posits. I’ve been thinking a lot about WALL-E lately, and the human psychology of projection is essential to our perception of emotion expressed by the robotic characters. Indeed, the faces of these real and animated robots are very expressive. But our video-mediated experience of them also utilize non-diegetic devices such as music and editing. It reminds me of the Kuleshov effect, where editing and psychological projection, not expression, gave the audience the perception of emotion in the subject. We personify objects all the time. Convincing humans of emotion in machines or media is actually pretty easy- maybe to easy…

Think of how cryptic humans can be when dealing with each other. We have learned to mask our emotions, read into each other, and in spite of our technological marvels, have the ability to revert to quite primal behavior. While it may be fun or interesting to create emotional machines, computers work on programming, and not every programmer can predict every real user. We have the ability to infinitely copy programs and model machines on them. The medical and patient care fields are often at the forefront of emerging technology, but I think hospitals are places where human emotions can range from quite complex to the primal, and a small number of robot programmers are not going to improve every situation. Cultural biases regarding sickness and health present further challenges to human-machine interaction.

August 1, 2008

Blake said:

Hah, woah, that’s sick! Awesome. Just to let you know, neither video worked, but it’s still a cool enough article on its own.

August 26, 2008

KAruc said:

hackers you porn from crackers? :D

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