JAPAN: Japanese scientists unveil a robot capable of making an array of facial expressions
- Title: JAPAN: Japanese scientists unveil a robot capable of making an array of facial expressions
- Date: 9th June 2007
- Summary: ROBOT MAKING VARIOUS FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
- Reuters ID: LVAB6LFX6LZF0QI99NN9KMZBXSEE
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Duration: 00:00:15
- Topics: Science / Technology
- Story Text: Robots may not be able to feel emotions but Japanese scientists have created one which they say expresses emotions. The newest Japanese humanoid robot, named "Kansei", frowns when he hears the word "bomb" and a smile lights up his face when he hears the word "sushi".
The robot created by a Japanese university research team can make up to 36 different facial expressions stemming from English words such as happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear and surprise -- and any combinations of these emotions.
A software programme which creates word associations from a self-updating online database of 500,000 links words to several keywords. The keywords trigger then the most appropriate facial expression.
The robot has 19 movable parts underneath the silicone face mask which enable it to create expressions.
When Kansei hears the word "president", the online database picks up associated words such as "Bush," "war" and "Iraq" and creates an expression which mixes fear and disgust.
"What we are trying to do here is to create a 'flow of consciousness' in robots so that they can make the relevant facial expressions based on the flow. I believe that's going to be a key to improving communication between humans and robots," said the Kansei project leader Junichi Takeno, a professor at Meiji University's School of Science and Technology.
Takeno says that in a few years, Kansei will also have speech abilities and will be able to convey feelings to people and the robot could be installed in places like nursing homes for the elderly.
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