Robots With…Feelings?

Sci-fi is fast becoming reality.

Nothing illustrates this better than the recent advances made in the revolutionary field of robotics, which have seen the line between human and machine become ever more blurry.
Humanoid robots have long since been a feature in Hollywood blockbusters. But if recent reports are to be believed, then Blade Runner-like robots may one day be in our future too.

Intrigued? Then read on as we explore the wonderful world of 'feeling robots’.


Say Hello to Han

A humanoid robot capable of mimicking human expressions has been introduced to the world at the recent Hong Kong electronics fair.
Nicknamed Han, the robot is able to interact with people in a way no robot has ever done before.

Controlled by a total of 40 motors, at the touch of a button Han can smile, laugh, frown and wink. Oh, and he can also act like he’s downed a beer or two as well!

This remarkable robot has a disconcertingly human-like appearance. This is largely owing to the innovative rubber-like material used to form the robots skin. Known as Frubber – flesh rubber – this specially designed engineering material is a kind of elastic polymer capable of mimicking human skin.

Han is a pretty clever chap too. He can answer simple questions, and has some rather awesome conversational powers – pretty amazing right?
If you’re wondering what makes all this possible, it’s down to an innovative piece of technology known as pattern recognition software.

This, paired with an array of cameras located in the robot's eyes and chest, allow it to read human facial expressions and respond in kind with an assortment of its own. These cameras also allow the robot to determine both the age and gender of the person it’s talking to.

According to the developers behind the robot, Han represents a major breakthrough in the development of human-like robots.