Hyperrealistic Japanese robot taught to feel pain

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Engineers at the University of Osaka (Japan) presented a modified version of the Affetto robot, made in the form of the head of a one-year-old child. Android already knows how to smile, frown, cry, roll its eyes and imitate real children in every way, and now it has been taught to “feel” pain.

Affetto development began in 2011, reports designboom. Smiling “baby” has a realistic skeleton of the head, covered with artificial skin. 116 sensors were implanted under the shell, which are deformed in a certain way to express this or that emotion.

The new version of the robotic child is endowed with a “system of artificial pain”, which is activated when an electric discharge is applied to the tactile sensor. When the scientist presses the button, in response to the impulse, the face of Affetto begins to tremble, grimace and grimace.

According to Lead Researcher Minoru Asada, someday “pain sensors” will allow machines to express compassion, empathy and, on the whole, seem “more humane.”

“In Japan, we believe that all inanimate objects have a soul, therefore, in this regard, a metal robot is no different from humans – there are fewer borders between people and objects,” says the head of the project.

“Sensors of pain” will help in studying the reaction of people to mechanisms that “experience” pain. In addition, Assad and his colleagues believe that in the future, empathic robots will be able to provide “physical and emotional support” to older people in Japan who live alone.


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