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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Robot Prototype Will Let You Feel How It's 'Feeling'


The prototype expresses "anger" with both its eyes and its skin, which turns spiky through the inflation of subdermal fluidic actuators based on its "mood."

Cornell University Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship Laboratory researchers have developed a prototype robot that expresses "emotions" by reshaping the texture of its outer surface.

Credit: Lindsay France/Cornell University Photography

Researchers in Cornell University’s Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship Laboratory have developed a prototype robot capable of expressing "emotions" by reshaping the texture of its outer surface.

Its skin covers a grid of texture units governed by fluidic actuators, which can configure into variants of goosebumps or spikes that are keyed to different emotional states.

Cornell's Guy Hoffman says the project's future challenges include scaling the technology for incorporation into a robot, and making it more responsive to the machine's immediate emotional changes.

The researchers believe "that the integration of a texture-changing skin, combining both haptic [feel] and visual modalities, can thus significantly enhance the expressive spectrum of robots for social interaction."

From Cornell Chronicle (NY)
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