Brian Robot Reads Your Emotions, Then Creeps You Out

Brian is an experimental robot that reads your emotions and then presents a robotically- appropriate face back to you.

(The face of robotic emotions)

"Allow me to introduce myself. I am Brian, a non-contact, socially interactive robot developed in the autonomous systems and biomechatronics lab at the University of Toronto."

"I can be happy... I can be sad... I can be stern."

According to Dr. Goldie Nejat, the Brian's purpose is to provide a robot that can interact socially with retired baby boomers. Who's going to take care of them? Apparently, robots.

Brian listens to speech input as well as the person's demeanor and gestures to try to read emotions; Brian then acts appropriately, according to the situation.

According to Dr. Nejat, Brian the robot is intended to interact with and motivate the elderly; at the moment, I think it might motivate the elderly to run screaming from the room, so it encourages exercise.

Seriously, focus groups have been interested in what this robot can do, even though it is only a prototype. And most of us have a number of years before Brian will need to be ready.

Everyone's favorite emotion-reading robot (let me know if you have another) is of course the HAL 9000 from Arthur C. Clarke's 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey:

"Hal, switch to manual hibernation control."

"I can tell from your voice harmonics, Dave, that you're badly upset. Why don't you take a stress pill and get some rest?"

"Hal, I am in command of this ship. I order you to release the manual hibernation control."

"I'm sorry, Dave, but in accordance with special subroutine C1435-dash-4, quote, When the crew are dead or incapacitated, the onboard computer must assume control, unquote. I must, therefore, overrule your authority, since you are not in any condition to exercise it intelligently."

Brian reminds me of the WD-2 Face Morphing robot; see a video here.

Via Botropolis.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/8/2010)

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