Monday 19 November 2007

Korean Research Institute Demonstrates 2 Empathy Robots

Kobie looks like a fluffy Koala bear. The robot is able to recognize human faces, make eye contact, and express emotions through sounds.

Rabie gets its name from its rabbit-like design, and has a built-in "reasoning" system called Bossam. Bossam was developed last year and allows the educational robot to play a word guessing game in English. Rabie is able to play word guessing games in English. Rabie tries to guess things a human is thinking of by asking questions. If a person has the word "elephant" in mind, Rabbie will try to guess the word by asking questions such as "does it live inside?" or "is it big?"

By not having a computer integrated the new robots are cheaper to build.

Kobie and Rabie receive their instructions through a wireless Internet connection. That makes them more affordable than similar robots from other countries that come with pricey computers built-in. Kobie offers a calming stability, very similar to a normal pet, and we believe it can be used for patients in need of emotional help, said Son Ju-chan, head researcher of ETRI's Knowledge and Inference Research Team.


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