Robots With Feelings? Researchers 'Teach' Ones To Feel Pain

First Posted: May 28, 2016 04:10 AM EDT

Germany-based researchers are working on robot units that have artificial nervous system that would allow them to feel pain.

This feature would help them in responding quickly to a dangerous situation that could lead to system damage. It is also a means to protect humans who could be working with them. The system, the scientists, said would be according to the results of human pain research.

Sami Haddaddin and Johannes Kuehn, researchers at the German Leibniz University of Hanover, already made a presentation of this idea during the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation held in Stockholm, Sweden.

In his presentation during the conference, Kuehn said: "Pain is a system that protects us...When we evade from the source of pain, it helps us not get hurt.

The researchers have designed a pain reflex response that is attached to a Kuka robotic arm that has the ability to respond just like how humans do. Interestingly, they have also based the robot's artificial nervous tissue to human skin. This means robots would be able to feel various degrees of pain.

In an interview with BBC, Professor Fumiya Iida said it is important to include this kind of feature, particularly the use of stimulus. He said, this makes robots more intelligent.  

Meanwhile, The Washington Post, said in its report that there was also a study published in a journal called Scientific Reports that detailed another research on how humans feel empathy for robots.

The "electrical brain activities" of humans were observed using electroencephalography devices as they were shown photos of violence both against humans and robots.

The results revealed that humans expressed emotional concern even on robots-but with less degree of emotions than their fellow humans.

This showed, according to the report, that human are seemingly emotionally attached to robots, given their exposure to robots who "act like humans".

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