Just how smart can a robot get? I suppose that question can only be answered by the creator of the robot. Apart from that, we would also hope to see robots being able to identify with us humans when it comes to this thing called “emotion”, but somehow, to quantify emotion in a digital manner seems nigh impossible – not only now, but in the future as well. Still, hope springs eternal for the perpetual optimist, and a new British research does point to how there might be a method to ensure that robots are able to understand how a human feels. PhD student Mriganka Biswas and Professor John Murray from the University of Lincoln are working on ERWIN, which has been described to be an “emotion robot with intelligent network.”
What does that mean for ERWIN as a robot? Well, it could very well play the role of a companion to the aged or to kids who have autism, being able to interact with a human using one of five basic emotions. Robots still lack personalities at the moment which makes it difficult for a human to bond with machine on an emotional level, so ERWIN hopes to bring the companion robot category to the next level by being friendly enough, not to mention sensitive to the users’ emotions and needs and to react accordingly.