Hyperrealistic Japanese robot has been taught to feel pain

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Engineers at the University of Osaka (Japan) have presented a modified version of the Affetto robot, made in the form of the head of a one-year-old child. Android already knows how to smile, frown, cry, roll its eyes and imitate real children in every way, and now it has been taught to “feel” pain.

Affetto development began in 2011, designboom reports. Smiling “baby” has a realistic skeleton of the head, covered with artificial skin. 116 sensors were implanted under the shell, which are deformed in a certain way to express this or that emotion.

The new version of the robotic child is endowed with a “system of artificial pain”, which is activated when an electric discharge is applied to the tactile sensor. When the scientist presses the button, in response to the impulse, Affetto’s face begins to tremble, wince and grimace.

According to Leading Researcher Minoru Asada, someday “pain sensors” will allow machines to express compassion, empathy and, on the whole, seem “more humane.” “In Japan, we believe that all inanimate objects have a soul, therefore, in this regard, a metal robot is no different from humans – there are fewer borders between people and objects,” the project head says, Vesti.ru reports.

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