Wellington, June 21 : Victoria University researchers has unveiled a robot that has the capability of showing a repertoire of human emotions, including fear, surprise, happiness, sadness, and anger.
Engineering professor Dale Carnegie says that Marvin, as the robot is affectionately called, is also able to learn new things, adapt to a variety of situations, and essentially make his own decisions.
"We do not want a simple binary 'Go here, go there', but rather 'I'm stuck, what do I do?'" Stuff.co.nz quoted Carnegie as saying.
The researcher revealed that Marvin was an acronym for Mobile Autonomous Robotic Vehicle for Indoor Navigation.
While it took thousands of hours and cost 10,000 to 20,000 dollars in materials to build Marvin, the researchers efforts eventually turned out to be successful in giving the robot human-like mannerism.
"When you talk to him, he will talk and look at you. He will nod while you talk to him, because that's polite. He will understand your speech and respond verbally," Carnegie said.
If Marvin becomes angry, he will tower over the object of his fear, or retreat as though it is frightened.
"In humans, emotions are used as a modifier to our control systems. For most people emotions do not run them, but if you see something with big sharp teeth, then you're going to run away," said Carnegie.
"Similarly for Marvin, sometimes he will get trapped in a corner and his normal control system can't get him out, so he will become angry and frustrated - more violent in his emotions - and will blast his way out," Carnegie added.
Powered by the motor from an old electric wheelchair, Marvin is presently being used as a security guard, capable of patrolling the hallways of the university's engineering school.
However, Marvin has a limitation too - he is not fond of uneven surfaces.