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Android picks up nonverbal communication skills

nonverbal-robot.jpgIt is no surprise that the Japanese government is concentrating a whole lot of effort when it comes to manufacturing androids as the population continues to age and shrink. It is hoped that these androids will be able to be smart enough to improve productivity and support the entire nation’s lifestyle in due time, which means there is a pressing need for better human-robot interactions. Just like any other relationship, communication is of the utmost importance and the same holds for humans and their less than human counterparts, robots. Researchers based at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) have successfully developed an autonomous humanoid robot which is claimed to be able to recognize and use body language in order to get the message across to its human masters. A press release showed that NICT drew from research in neuroscience, cognitive science and psychology to create an android that relies on body language such as gestures and touch in order to facilitate natural and effective communication with humans.

Instead of relying on just spoken communication, the robot’s body language will definitely go a long way in simplifying communication with people who find it difficult to interact with robots, including children and the elderly who more often than not have a phobia concerning the latest technology. Not only that, the computer illiterate will probably shy away from robots as well since they have this fear of accidentally shutting down a robot or ruining it simply by being around one. It is hoped that this technology behind the droid’s “universal communication” skills will be able to be put to good and practical use one day, working at home or assisting those in rescue operations during a disaster.

The learning capacity of this robot has yet to be determined, but it certainly is a big step when the day comes where robots will be able to learn how to dance or even give a high five after it’s master announces some spot of good news at home.

Source: Pink Tentacle