In an interview, Radboud University in the Netherlands' Johan Kwisthout discusses efforts to use robots to replicate the brains and behavior of infants in order to better understand their learning process.
He says the goal is to learn how information processing changes as infants' vision improves and their perception is affected.
"We are considering the possibility of simulating growth in robots...by fitting them with physical characteristics and changing certain parts of the robot during the course of the research," Kwisthout notes.
Among the applications he envisions for such research is the enhancement of mutual communication and effectiveness by enabling robots to recognize and convey emotions.
Kwisthout also says the current focus of research is on establishing trust via first impressions and facial expressions.
"Robots can help us understand the subconscious mechanisms that steer our behavior and answer that one big question: how unique are we really?" Kwisthout says.
From Radboud University Nijmegen
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