Do Robots Have Feelings? New Stretchy Robot "Skin" Could Create AI With Moods

Do Robots Have Feelings? New Stretchy Robot "Skin" Could Create AI With Moods
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Scientists in Ithaca, New York, have designed robotic skin that could allow robots to change the color of their skin to accurately reflect the mood of the person it's with. 

The material has two main features: "It allows robots to change their color, and it also allows displays to change their shape," says Cornell University assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering Rob Shepherd. 

In addition to being able to change color, the robot skin is also extremely pliable, enabling the creation of undulating robots.   

Combined with a robot that's capable of registering emotion, the skin could help endear it to its human compatriots. "Why is that important?" Shepard said. "For one thing, when robots become more and more a part of our lives, the ability for them to have emotional connection with us will be important. So to be able to change their color in response to mood or the tone of the room we believe is going to be important for human-robot interactions."

The study involving the new skin appeared online Thursday in the journal Science.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Ruth Reader

Ruth is a senior staff writer covering innovative technology and the people behind it. Send through pitches and tips to ruth@mic.com.

MORE FROM

CNN's Van Jones allegedly says the Trump Russia stories are "a big nothing burger"

He's the second CNN insider this week to apparently denounce the network's Russia coverage.

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens joins MSNBC

Stephens will remain a columnist at The New York Times.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Fox News just hired US Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a correspondent

Chaffetz is headed to Fox.

Here are the key rulings from the Supreme Court's busy June term

The court's term ended with rulings on immigration, the First Amendment, LGBTQ rights and more.

CNN's Van Jones allegedly says the Trump Russia stories are "a big nothing burger"

He's the second CNN insider this week to apparently denounce the network's Russia coverage.

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens joins MSNBC

Stephens will remain a columnist at The New York Times.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Fox News just hired US Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a correspondent

Chaffetz is headed to Fox.

Here are the key rulings from the Supreme Court's busy June term

The court's term ended with rulings on immigration, the First Amendment, LGBTQ rights and more.