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Researchers create robot that detects emotions when interacting with people

Spanish and Portuguese researchers have developed a robot prototype capable of detecting the emotional state of the people with whom it interacts, which enriches its knowledge and improves its ability to interact with humans.

“If the robot aims to keep a group of children entertained, from the emotional state of the group it may decide to act specifically on those young people who are emotionally farther away from the group and in this way try to homogenize the emotional state of the group” , explained Vicente Juli├ín, of the Group of Technology in Informatics and Artificial Intelligence of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, in the east of Spain.

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The robot has a screen that reflects its emotional state, as well as infrared radiation sensors, a camera to identify people, a LIDAR sensor, which measures distances and other information according to reflected light, and three Raspberry Pi computers, which constitute the ‘brain’ of the prototype.

This work is part of an international project on the interaction of robots with humans, in which the team focused on the identification of emotions and their interpretation by computer systems.

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“The result of emotion monitoring is used in an innovative way, which seeks to identify one or several emotional states of a group of people and how these states propagate over time.” The robot interprets emotional changes and uses them to make decisions, “said Julian.

The results of the project can be applied in several fields in which interaction between robots and humans is required, for example in the field of robotics dedicated to assistance, commercial or educational means. Together with the Spanish university, experts from the University of Minho of Portugal took part in the study.