Meet Charles, The Somewhat Creepy Robot That Can Read Your Emotional State And Give Directions, Too
By Perry Michael Simon on December 23, 2010
Further proof that computers will ultimately replace, um, you: The IEEE has a blog post about Cambridge Professor Peter Robinson and his team, who are working on computers who… er, WHICH can tell your mental state by reading your body language, gestures, and tone of voice. Yeah, they’re designed to sorta kinda read your mind. They’ve created a robotic head to do it, named and allegedly modeled after Charles Babbage, after trying a chimp head and a bad Elvis head. Of course, they’re decades late, compared to Hymie the robot on the 100% factual television documentary series “Get Smart,” or the highly perceptive Rosie on the early reality series “The Jetsons.”
This video with Robinson explains the concept (including the flingoing of an annoying GPS unit) and how it works; the camera “reads” certain points on the subject’s head and face, like the brows and lips, and on the body with a modified version of those motion-capture suits, and measures tone of speech, and ultimately figures out that you’re angry or depressed or whatever. The robotic “Charles” is designed to respond to others in a manner befitting their mood, with the example shown involving “Charles” giving directions like an empathetic GPS.
If this DOES eliminate the Garmin GPS voice sighing “re-CAL-culating,” I’m for it.
For comparison’s sake, here’s Hymie: