Scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have unveiled a new, lifelike social robot named Nadine, Forbes reported Thursday. The robot has a humanlike appearance, the ability to be happy or sad and a good memory, researchers have claimed.
The scientists behind Nadine compared her intelligent software to Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana. Physically, she is nearly a clone of her creator, Nadia Thalmann. Nadine can smile when greeting a person, remember a person’s a name and even recall previous conversations, according to Gizmag. While she is currently acting as a receptionist at NTU, further advances in technology could potentially enable Nadine to become a personal assistant or serve as social companion for the young and elderly.
"This is somewhat like a real companion that is always with you and conscious of what is happening. So in future, these socially intelligent robots could be like C-3PO, the iconic golden droid from Star Wars, with knowledge of language and etiquette,” said Thalmann, the director of the Institute for Media Innovation who led the development of Nadine, the Telegraph reported.
Along with Nadine, NTU also revealed EDGAR, a telepresence robot that has a rear-projecting screen for its face and two mechanical arms. Through a specialized webcam, users can control EDGAR remotely from anywhere in the world, and the user’s facial expressions can be displayed on EDGAR’s face in real time.
"EDGAR is a real demonstration of how telepresence and social robots can be used for business and education," said Gerald Seet from the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering NTU, who has spent the last three years developing EDGAR, the Telegraph reported. “Telepresence provides an additional dimension to mobility. The user may project his or her physical presence at one or more locations simultaneously, meaning that geography is no longer an obstacle."