Meet Kobian, a walking robot that uses its face and body to imitate the way humans express a range of different emotions. The "humanoid," as it's being called, was unveiled yesterday by researchers at Waseda University in Japan.
To display these moods, motors move Kobian's lips, eyelids, eyebrows, arms, legs, and double-jointed neck. Check out some of the emotions (pictured top, left to right: sadness and delight; bottom, left to right: surprise and disgust):
Keep in mind, however: Though Kobian can express feelings, the robot can't yet interact with people emotionally or intuitively. But it is a step in that direction. Robots that can show emotion, the developers believe, will be able to communicate more naturally with people. —Heather Wax