The robot prototype, a product of the American University’s “Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship Lab”, features a soft outer “skin” whose texture changes according to what the robot wants to say to the person he comes in contact with. Just as the dog’s back coat rises and we understand that the puppy is afraid or is in excitement.
The team of technicians has ensured that the “skin” of the robot changes its texture when the air is blown into elastic cells beneath the surface of the material.
The “skin” consists of several layers of these cells. To achieve imitation of animal reactions, scientists chose “shudders” and “raised hair” as the reactions of the original robot.
“We have many interesting relationships with other species”,
said Gai Hoffman, an associate professor at “Corning’s Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering”.
“We need to understand the robots as one of these “other species”, not to try to copy what we (the people) are doing but to contact us with their own “language”, making use of our own instincts”,
Hoffman added, who led the effort of students at Cornell’s “Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship Lab”.
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