In Brief

Over the course of a decade, robotics engineer David Hanson has been working with great minds to create robots that are as socially interactive as humans.

Over the course of a decade, robotics engineer David Hanson has been working with great minds to create robots that are as socially interactive as humans. With the incredibly lofty goal of designing technologies that allow robots to eventually empathize with other beings, Hanson’s Character Engine combines a variety of technologies to accomplish some basic first steps, allowing his most recent robots to recognize facial expressions and respond accordingly.

As described by Hanson Robotics, these social robots are “capable of mimicking not just human emotions and facial expressions, but eye contact, face recognition, and naturalistic spoken conversation.” The robots are capable of determining what you’re looking at based on head and body position, can look around a room from person to person recognizing each along the way, and can use a series of complex algorithms to predict behavior and model potential courses of action.

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