Researchers said that while humans sometimes make facial expressions that disguise what they are really thinking, involuntary responses such as sweating and shivering disclose their ‘true feelings’ and the same could be true in robots in the future. Dr. Tomoko Yonezawa and her group at Kansai University, in Japan, have just started exploring this idea.
The team have developed three prototype robots that show physiological responses.
One device is a robotic head that sweats to show it is “under pressure or anxious”.
Another sample robot gets goose bumps when a cold wind picks up or a scary story is told.
While these prototypes are still in their initial phases, the idea of giving robots certain capabilities that mimic our physical behaviors has long intrigued researchers. Other teams have used sounds and facial expressions for social robots, but physiological reactions have been little explored.
Now the only question I have is why go to such lengths to make robots follow humankind. Well the team believes that by giving robots these involuntary reactions, we could feel more at ease with them, because we would be able to read their intentions.
The idea behind these creations is that humans are more inclined to trust gestures that are communicated unwillingly. So imagine if a robot suddenly comes to you and say “unknown human detected in house” with a worried face, heightened breathe and shivering hands with goose bumps, you’d be much more likely to take it seriously.