A news (!) addition to my blog is to find fun and cute news items to share with you! This one really caught my attention - meet Nao, the emotional robot.........
This little guy is a humanoid machine which hunches its shoulders when it feels sad, raises its arms for a hug when it feels happy, and cowers when frightened until he is comforted! How adorable is that?
Developed by Aldebaran Robotics, he was designed to mimic the emotional skills of a one year old child, and he can even form bonds with people who show him kindness - this is amazing stuff. Nao uses video cameras to work out how close a person is and sensors to detect how tactile they are. He indicates how he is feeling based on understanding non-verbal interactions with people, and from exploring his environment.
Nao can also be programmed to have different personalities - whether an independent nature or a more needy and fearful one. Nao has even competed in the RoboCup, and has performed Star Wars!
So, where does this lead us? The scientists behind Nao say that in the future robots are likely to act as companions, maybe to provide support for the elderly, or to integrate with the internet to order groceries online. I don't know whether robots like Nao will ever be looking after the elderly or ordering my shopping, but what I do know is that I want one!!!