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Japanese engineers unveil emotionally savvy robot

Japanese researchers have unveiled what is claimed to be the world’s most emotionally advanced robot, a 1m tall machine which can sing, dance and joke.

Named Pepper the smart gizmo has been specifically designed to respond to the emotions of humans around it, reading facial expressions and intonation cues via two on board cameras and four microphones.

Pepper’s parents, Softbank and Aldebaran Robotics, intend to sell the robot for £1,150 a pop from February for those seeking electronic companionship.

Masayoshi Son, head of Softbank, said: “For the first time in human history, we’re giving a robot a heart, emotions.”

Aldebaran founder Bruno Maisonnier added: ‘I’ve believed the most important role of robots will be as kind and emotional companions to enhance our daily lives, to bring happiness, constantly surprise us and make people grow.’

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