Cutting Edge! Robots are being tought to respond to touch


By teaching robots how to show personality and emotion through touch and other senses, a group of researchers from Université Paris-Saclay are being recognized pioneers in robotics.

Research conducted by Professor Adriana Tapus from ENSTA ParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, aims to develop a humanoid robot sensitive to tactile stimulation. The Heroes Project – in collaboration with Dr. Moustapha Hafez from CEA Paris-Saclay, Prof. Mehdi Ammi from LIMSI, and PhD student Pierre-Henri Orefice – addresses interaction via touch.

First results show that a robot is capable of inferring someone’s gender and personality in 75% of cases simply by shaking hands.

“Giving robots a personality is the only way our relationship with artificial intelligence will survive. If we can simulate a human like emotional response from a robot we can ensure a two-way relationship, benefiting the most vulnerable and isolated members of our society. Our research will help the next generation of social robots to be polite, empathetic, and maybe have their own sense of humour”, says Prof. Adriana Tapus.