Meet Nadine, a humanoid robot with own personality and feelings which was designed by a team of engineers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore to snatch the job of receptionist from its human counterparts.
As soon as you engage in a short conversation with her you can notice that she is really friendly, her mood switches from happy to sad and back depending on the topic, and can recognize your name and give quotes from your conversations next time you see her.
To make it look even more human-like, robotics experts instructed Nadine to look at her customers in the eye, say hello, shake hands, and display her own personality.
Her integrated facial recognition software helps her memorize faces and link every face to a name. This is how she will remember whether you have met before and what you two have discussed in great detail.
Prof Nadia Thalmann, the chief of the team that designed the android, explained that the bot is powered by software which runs on the sample principles as Microsoft’s Cortana. The team hopes to instruct Nadine to apply for other positions in the future such as personal assistant or baby sitter.
The team said that Nadine is very versatile. She can appear physically but she can also be ‘uploaded’ into a computer. Analysts think that robots like Nadine are just the beginning. But with the current pace at which technology improves, it is hard to tell how far social robots could go. We should expect, however, to see more of them in homes and offices in the not so distant future.
Thalmann believes that robots should be used in more complex positions than those in manufacturing and logistics. Humanoid robots could also solve the aging population issue which currently plagues developed countries such as Germany and Japan. They can be used as cheap workforce, and take on positions that only a human can handle such as keeping company to the elderly, or looking after children.
The NTU team noted that they have been working on the project for four years now and employed experts from various fields including linguistics, computer science, and psychology.
Researchers said that with Nadine a C-3PO-like companion could soon become a reality. Plus, they plan to design social robots to be always present and aware of what’s going on around them.
Social robots called telespresence robots can help humans be in more places at the same time by mimicking its user’s facial expressions on a special webcam. But that is another project of the NTU team.
Image Source: Pixabay
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