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Kansei Robot Reacts To Words Like 'President,' 'Sushi'

The Kansei robot, created by a group led by Junichi Takeno, a professor at Meiji University's School of Science and Technology, can access information and display emotions with its ultra-expressive face.


(Kansei face robot)

Kansei can make thirty-six different facial expressions (using its 19 different movable parts underneath its silicon face mask). When the robot interacts with people, the words that people use are treated as keywords.

Kanei looks through its database of more than 500,000 words and then correlates them with basic emotions, like happiness and sadness. The database groups words together based on news and other information.

For example, when Kansei hears the word "president," it finds associated words like "Bush," "war" and "Iraq." Thus, the word president causes Kansei to assume an expression somewhere between fear and disgust. The word "sushi" on the other hand, elicits expressions of enjoyment.

Kansei, which means "sensibility" and "emotion" in Japanese, also contains speech recognition software, a speaker to vocalize, and motors that contort artificial skin on its face into expressions.

“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,” said Takeno. "I believe that’s going to be a key to improving communication between humans and robots."

Robots have come a long way from the emotionless robots of the past; take a look at these real-life expressive bots:

Via Scientific American.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/5/2007)

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