Robotic boy can use facial expressions to interact with humans - FOX 35 News Orlando

Robotic boy can use facial expressions to interact with humans

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University of California San Diego researchers hope a humanoid robot can help in therapy sessions with special needs children.

The robot, named Diego-San, is learning how to express human emotions in hopes it can one day develop relationships with humans.

"Diego-San is part of a series of studies of how humans move and interact so we can build Humanoid robots in the future," said post-doctoral researcher Deborah Forster. "What we do is we record a lot of infant smiling and then we take that data and we feed it to Diego-San."

Researchers said this smart technology works similar to the one already in use in social media websites to recognize friend's faces or cameras that set off a flash only when it detects people smiling.

For example, if Diego-San detects a smiling face it can smile back.

Forster believes it won't be too long before Diego-San can be seen walking side by side with people.

"Imagine like a robot companion," said Forster.

The project is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation.

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