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Imprinting robots bond with study coordinator Dr. Lola Canamero.
Robots have feelings, too -- or at least they will -- pending the completion of a pan-European research project being led by a group of British scientists

The Feelix Growing project aims to design and build a series of robots that can interact with humans on an emotional level, and actually adapt their behavior in response to emotional cues from their human counterparts.

The official goal of the project is to conduct "interdisciplinary investigation of socially situated development ... as a key paradigm towards achieving robots that interact with humans in their everyday environments in a rich, flexible, autonomous, and user-centered way." To achieve this, the 2.3 million-Euro effort has assembled more than two dozen roboticists, developmental psychologists and neuroscientists from six nations.

The robots used in the project are simple designs, including some "off-the-shelf" models. The complexity lies in the software, which will construct artificial neural networks to pick up on human emotions exhibited via facial expressions, voice intonation, gestures and other behaviors.

The leader of the European Commission-funded project, Dr. Lola Canamero is a senior lecturer in the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire, England. She also serves as the principal investigator and coordinator of the university's Adaptive Systems Research Group, which focuses on researching socially intelligent agents, emotion modeling, developmental robotics, human-robot and human-computer interaction, embodied artificial intelligence and robotics, sensor evolution and artificial life.

In a recent interview with BBC, Canamero said the robots will be designed to detect basic human emotional states such as  anger, happiness, and loneliness. Once the states are detected, the robots will be programmed to perform a support role, by seeking to soothe an angry human, or cheer up a lonely or depressed one.

One of the first fruits of the Feelix Growing effort has been the production of a robot capable of "imprinting" behavior. The behavior is similar to the way many baby animals develop an instinctual attachment to the first adult they see at the time of birth, usually the mother. The imprinting robot prototype learns to recognize a particular human and follow that individual around, gradually adapting to the human's actions and emotional state, then interacting accordingly, Canamero said.

At the conclusion of the project, the scientists intend to build two robots that will combine aspects of the research being conducted at each of the eight partner sites scattered around Europe.

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RE: No, they wont
By rushfan2006 on 2/27/2007 12:00:30 PM , Rating: 3
Also, maybe they work on getting robots to fucking walk first.

Wow, this and your other post -- geez talk about a closed mind. Have you no ability to imagine the future, have you no comprehension or capacity to be open-minded? And yet you are saying that the robots are "stupider" than monkeys. ;>

In any regard, remember a few things with scienctific research - it all has to start somewhere. You think all the inventions with take for granted today just happened over night? You think someone guy said "I'm bored tomorrow I'm going to invent a device I'll call a radio" and *poof* the next day the world had radio. Or perhaps one day somoene said "you know what it sucks to ride this damn bike to work...." and *poof* the next day he drove a car to work.

Lastly, you are comparing a machine that is trying to mimic the most complex "machine" the world has ever known --- the human.

In the least seeing how difficult it is for a machine to think like we do or walk as effortlessly as we can - should bring profound appreciation for how complex and sophisticated our bodies really are. Its pretty amazing when you really think about it.

RE: No, they wont
By oTAL on 2/28/2007 9:01:20 AM , Rating: 2
Its pretty amazing when you really think about it.

If everybody who posts here was to "think about it" before posting, we wouldn't have half the posts we do now!... and we would hardly have any red dotting the comments section.

On the other hand your post was pretty good. Science is an evolving thing. The guy who invented the telephone (PLEASE let's not get into an argument there - Meucci, Bell, whatever) probably based his concept on the two cups connected by a cord thing.
And when he did it, the invention sucked. Bad sound quality, interference, needed power and it had to be stuck to a place. What a piece of shit. Why didn't the idiot invent a cell phone in the first place? Maybe he was afraid of the radiation or something... idiot!

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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