The robot featured in the picture is named Matilda and she also has a ¨male¨counterpart named Jack. Their creators at La Trobe University ( in partnership with Kyoto University and Japan’s NEC Corporation) anticipate that these robots will assist in the health care sector or out in the community. Instead of being developed for the purpose of fulfilling a handful specific tasks, their ¨social¨nature allows them to be deployed in many different contexts. Director of the Research Centre for Computers, Communication and Social Innovations (RECCSI) at La Trobe University, Dr Rajiv Khosla, sees technology as a means to creativity, further stating that ¨inanimate technology only serves a purpose of convenience while these emotionally intelligent robots will enhance people’s lives’.¨
Matilda’s skills have already been put to the test at an aged care facility in Queensland, Australia where she assists nurses by helping them monitor stress and anxiety levels of patients. While these robots may also be used as driving companions, homework helpers and communication assistants for children with autism, Khosla points out that ¨elderly care is a sector that is growing fast and we have to think of new and creative solutions to help¨
These researchers aren’t the only ones who are working on perceptive bots! Likewise, Robot Companions for Citizens believes today’s scientists have to get creative in order to foster solutions for tomorrow’s challenges. Furthermore, this project believes in the value of creating ¨sentient¨machines which will be designed to have a clear cut scientific implementations. Click HERE to find out more about the kind of robots envisioned by this European initiative.