This robot wants you to share your feelings with it.
UK-based Furhat Robotis created a robot named Furhat with a mission to encourage people to open up emotionally. The robot is built into a bust with a human-like face projection, which it uses to exude empathy and warmth and make people engage with it more honestly.
“One of the barriers that we think robots have had, to move from an interesting scientific tool into applications, is the issue with expressivity,” explained Furhat Robots co-founder Samer Al Moubayed. “Being able to move like us, very smooth, very expressive facial movements, eye movements, head movements.”
The company claims Furhat’s personality changes to best assist the person talking to it by picking up visual cues in that person’s behavior. The face can also change to be young or old, funny or serious, depending on its owner’s needs.
“The robot can change its age or gender or personality depending on the application. So in a way, we’re opening up a new world if every robot needs a different personality depending on the job it’s gonna do,” Al Moubayed said.
The company thinks businesses can benefit from Furhat, specifically those in customer services. It has already been used at the Frankfurt airport as a multilingual concierge for travelers passing through.