We know Abel, child android, deliberately no gender. Creature of genius
of animatronics Gustav Hoegen, former father of the characters of Star Wars and gods
dinosaurs of Jurassic Park in the legendary Biomimics of London. The biorobotics engineers of the E. Piaggio Research Center of the University of Pisa are giving it a soul. Abel smiles, becomes sad, has an unusual capacity for expression for a robot. “It has almost forty engines” explains the researcher Roberto Garofalo, “more than half are dedicated to facial expression and the other half to the gestures of the arms and of the hands “.
The empathic robot that looks like us
Abel, a Semitic name meaning “spark of life”, is not only “cute”, not only
he looks so much like us humans. It will be useful for studying in greater depth the relationship between humans and machines. Researchers at the University of Pisa are developing neural network and machine learning technology that will allow them to translate the signals coming from those in front of them into actions. He will react differently based on his tone of voice, sweating, moods and emotions.
An android as a friend
Abel has great potential: the goal is to generate a kind of relationship. The
applications concern where there is a difficulty in the expression of emotions and in their understanding. Weaknesses in developing or creating the common dictionary of this
speech, behavioral or autism spectrum disorders. But it can also be useful when there is a degeneration of these characteristics, such as in senile dementia and in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.