Japan unveils humanoid robot that laughs and smiles

Japan unveils humanoid robot that laughs and smiles

A model (R) pokes the face of a humanoid robot called ''Geminoid-F'' (L) shaped to resemble the model at a press conference in Osaka, on Saturday. AFP

The robot, Geminoid TMF, can move its rubber facial skin to imitate a smile, a laugh showing teeth, and a grim look with furrowed brows, by receiving electric signals from the person it is modelled on.

The researchers demonstrated with a robot made to look exactly like an attractive woman in her 20s with long dark hair. The woman and the robot were dressed in the same clothes - a black skirt and black leather jacket.

The robot smiled and furrowed its brow in almost simultaneous mimicry of the woman, whose face was filmed with a video camera which then provided information on her expressions to the robot through electric signals.

"I felt like I had a twin sister," the woman told reporters afterwards.
The developers said they expected the robot to be eventually used in real-life situations, for example in hospitals.

"We've already got some data showing that the robot gave patients psychological security by nodding and smiling at them, when patients were checked on by doctors," said Satoko Inoue, spokeswoman for Kokoro, one of the two companies involved in the development.

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