Honda unveils new 'emotional' robot which reads human feelings

Its new 3E-A18 robot, Forpheus, which "shows compassion to humans with a variety of facial expressions," was also present at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 11, 2018, 07.47 AM (IST)

Honda has launched a new robotics program called 3E Concept and has unveiled the new robot called Forpheus which can read body language to gather one's ability, and offer advice and encouragement.

Honda launched four new robotics demonstrations on Tuesday at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas which are united under one banner: 3E Concept.

3E stands for Empower, Experience and Empathy, which the Japanese automaker sees as the three ways robotics can enhance our daily lives.

Its new 3E-A18 robot, Forpheus, which "shows compassion to humans with a variety of facial expressions," was also present at the CES.

"It will try to understand your mood and your playing ability and predict a bit about your next shot," said Keith Kersten of Japan-based Omron Automation, which developed Forpheus to showcase its technology.

"We don't sell ping pong robots but we are using Forpheus to show how the technology works with people," said Kersten.

"He has a complex brain. It will ask for a caress or it will get mad if you poke him in the eye," Jean-Michel Mourier of French-based Blue Frog Robotics, which makes the companion and social robot called Buddy, set to be released later this year.

The A18 has a round egg-shaped head witch smooth exterior which "invites people to touch or hug the robot."

The A18's purpose is to support people by serving as a guide in public places or giving comfort, like a service dog, to humans in distress, reports said.

Forpheus is among several devices shown at this week's Consumer Electronics Show which highlight how robots can become more humanlike by acquiring "emotional intelligence" and empathy.