Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: Cornell University

Emotional robot uses goosebumps to show how it's feeling

You could know it needs a hug just by holding it.
21 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Cornell University

Sure, a robot can show how it's feeling (insofar as a robot can feel) with its face, but that's not the only way living beings do it. Humans have their goosebumps, for instance, while cats and dogs will raise their fur. Cornell wants to bring that nuance to synthetic beings. Its researchers have crafted a robot that uses a soft, adjustable skin to provide a tactile indication of a robot's emotion -- as the university put it, you can feel its feelings. It may develop goosebumps if it's happy, spikes if it's angry, or just a timid response if it's sad and needs a hug.

The elastomer skin contains separate sets of goosebump and spike generators, each of which is joined by fluidic chambers. When the robot wants to bare its soul, a quiet two-pump system applies pressure to the generators at the strength and frequency needed to convey those feelings. It's relatively subtle, and shouldn't kill the preciousness moment with loud mechanical noises.

Cornell's tech isn't particularly sophisticated at the moment (the design is likened to a 3D-printed oyster), and it's not about to fool you into thinking a robot needs some TLC. However, this could matter in the long run as scientists produce more sophisticated AI systems and artificial skins. If robots are ever going to be advanced enough to display something resembling real human emotion, they'll ideally show all the cues associated with those feelings.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
21 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
Samsung asks users to be extra careful with the Galaxy Fold

Samsung asks users to be extra careful with the Galaxy Fold

View
Uber sues NYC over vehicle caps

Uber sues NYC over vehicle caps

View
Australia will help NASA go to the Moon and Mars

Australia will help NASA go to the Moon and Mars

View
Apple gets US approval for Mac Pro tariff exemptions

Apple gets US approval for Mac Pro tariff exemptions

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr