Robots with emotions a possibility

PERNEM: Ever wonder how convenient life would be if the often tiresome tasks like cleaning your home could be completely automated. Well, that convenience could be a reality soon as robots will make life more comfortable for humans by performing tasks that humans find repetitive or at times even unsafe.

This observation was made by Surendranath Reddy, founder of Redd Robotics, while speaking at a session titled ‘Robots, Internet of Things and the Future’ at Goa Project 2013. Reddy said while there was still some way to go before the dawn of the advanced and complex robots seen in sci-fi movies, such robots will be a possibility in the future. He felt “it may even be possible to create robots which are capable of emotions since emotions are caused by a mixture of chemicals.”

Reddy said the field of robotics is still in the beginning stages, and that it will witness ‘big and awesome innovation’ soon with home automation being part of this. He said the International Space Station has one of the most advanced robots to have been developed so far.

Citing robotic soldiers and the US drones used to kill terror targets, he lamented that science fiction writer Issac Asimov’s laws for robots which state that robots will never harm or kill humans, even in self-defence; and that they will always obey humans unless ordered to harm another human were not being followed any more.

Speaking about the ‘Internet of Things’, he said “more and more devices and small pieces of hardware (such as sensors) collecting information are now connected to the internet”- which itself has evolved at an exponential speed - and that the year 2013 had been named the year of the Internet of Things.

He pointed out that consumers are now able to purchase items like smart shoes which can measure fitness parameters such as distance and terrain covered, time taken among other factors and upload these details to the internet so that they can be collated and the users can observe the patterns of their fitness regime.

He cited an estimate that by 2020, more than 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet equivalent to about roughly six devices per human.