Nicknamed “Matilda”, the robot incorporates emotionally intelligent software that can read a person’s feelings by the tone in their voice and interact accordingly.
Developed by Melbourne and Japanese scientists, the 40cm-tall robot was previewed at last week’s Aged Care Queensland state conference.
“What we have done is incorporate human senses of touch, speech, motion and feeling into Matilda,” chief inventor and La Trobe University associate Professor Rajiv Khosla said.
“It can track your facial expressions and detect your emotional state.
“Matilda may ask you a question, and if she detects a negative expression through anxiety she takes a note of that and she might say ‘Don’t be anxious, I was just trying to help’.
Researchers are designing the robots to suit individual countries, with Matilda sporting an Australian accent.