Researchers from the Queen Mary University and University College London are trying to develop socially conscious robots that are capable of interacting with humans by reading their facial expressions and reacting accordingly.
Professor Peter McOwan is in charge of the project. The project is funded by EU and involves experts from seven countries. McOwan explained that they are trying to develop software that is based on biology. This software will equip robots with the ability to move with humans freely and even understand things like ‘personal space’.
McOwan further explained that their robots were capable of recognising human expressions and reciprocating with an appropriate expression. He claimed that this technology could be used in improving the standards of hospital care, the demands for which are ever increasing. The research team has sought the help of psychologists to give the robot instructions about polite social rules. The robots are being designed with a complete set of instructions regarding body posture and personal space, which can be customized based on the needs of an individual. The research team has presented their study at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.