Technology is advancing at a pace that one has not witnessed before. Development of robots with social and emotional intelligence is a fruit of this technological advancement.Now, this fruit is either sweet or bitter; we have to wait before we get its taste.
These machines are capable of interacting with humans and can work in collaboration with people. They have the intelligence to quickly and effectively learn human instructions.
In Vancouver, SIGGRAPH’s attendees have got the opportunity to interact with one of such machines. Here, they were being displayed the most expressive robots they have ever seen.
Dubbed as SEER (Simulative emotional expression Robot), this machine is a creation of Japanese artist Takayuki Todo.
This socially interactive robot is famous for its interactive features. It can make unnerving eye contact and can also imitate your facial expressions.
This cute faced machine is a fruit of untiring efforts made by researchers on gaze and human facial expressions. It can move its eyelids, eyebrows and head.
At present, it has two alternative modes. It can either imitate or make eye contact with you. Both these modes rely on camera and a sensor to follow your gaze and track your facial expressions.
Using a camera sensor and eye tracking technology, it can gaze interactively and has become almost successful in portraying emotions just like human beings.
When SEER is in the imitative mode, it mirrors the positions of eyebrows and eyelids of the viewer.
However, the imitation is not entirely perfect.
For an eye contact mode, one can imagine how unnerving enough he feels when someone maintains constant eye contact with him.
So, it can be seen perplexing when an alien-looking robot makes unbroken eye contact and imitates your expressions.
But, it’s cute humanoid face seems to trigger empathy in the hearts of the public instead of horror or uneasiness.
And, thanks to the technology and research, we will see much like this over the coming years.