The University of Pisa in Italy is developing a project in which a humanoid automaton called Face teaches emotions and empathy to children with autism.
That robots can help humans, nobody doubts. There are robot receptionists, robots that raise sick people or robots that clean the house, but the weak point of the robots are the emotions, it is in that they can not replace the humans. However in this case, machines can teach emotions to humans.
It turns out that autistic children have trouble distinguishing emotions and it is also very difficult to teach them how to learn and interpret these feelings. The problem arises when another person wants to show them the differences between the different emotions. It is very normal for children to reject this situation. And this is where the role of a humanoid robot can be fundamental because it can teach those emotions in a neutral way.
This curious project is being carried out thanks to the European EASEL project of humanoid robotics at the Enrico Piaggo Research Center of the University of Pisa together with psychologists at the Escuela Normal Superior de París.
It is done through software that recreates the face of the robot showing the child the different gestures that are accompanied by different emotions. You are taught various gestures for the same emotion and the child learns by repetition.
Robotics is progressing more and more to imitate human expressions and feelings, and this is a clear example of this.