Thursday, 18 May 2017 21:44

QUT takes a look at the future of ‘social robotics’ with Pepper

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QYT's Belinda Ward with Pepper the robot QYT's Belinda Ward with Pepper the robot

The Queensland University of Technology is Australia’s first university to use the Pepper humanoid robot specifically for a social robotics research platform.

Pepper, created by SoftBank Robotics, is claimed as the world’s first personal humanoid robot that can recognise emotions, and also mimics human behaviours such as following the conversation around it by looking at whoever is talking.

QUT roboticist Belinda Ward from the Science and Engineering Faculty, and the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, said the research complemented the Queensland Government’s strategy to explore the potential for humanoid robots.

Ward also says social robots like Pepper have real potential to change society.

“The degree to which social robots could change society is the basis of our new research programme.

“Pepper is probably the most ‘personable’ robot on the market in terms of its perceived emotional intelligence, which makes it a fantastic platform to investigate the suitability of social robots, which is still a very new field.

“What we learn from human-computer interactions with Pepper will inform the next generation of service robots, building an effective social component into their task-oriented programming."


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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