KANSEI robotics to open a new epoch of human-machine relationship - Machine with a heart

Shuji Hashimoto*


    研究成果: Conference contribution

    9 被引用数 (Scopus)


    Information processing technology can be classified into three historical phases. The first phase is the physical information processing to treat physical data from the real world. This technology is often called "signal processing". As the target is mainly physical signal such as sound, brightness and force, the base of the processing is the law of nature. The reality of the system is examined by the physical explanationability of the input-output relations, and the causality is important. The second phase is the logical information processing to deal with knowledge and rule. "Artificial Intelligence" is included in this phase where symbols and languages are processed according to the rule. The most important is consistency and provability here. We are entering the third phase of information processing that is "KANSEI" information processing to treat human emotion. "KANSEI" is a Japanese word expressing some subjective concept including "sensibility", "feelings", " intuitiveness" and "mood". The term "human factor" has a close relation with KANSEI. However, in the KANSEI information processing, we intend to approach the human emotional world more positively by applying computer technology to the affective information processing and human communication including art, musical performance and entertainment. The computer is often said not to have KANSEI. The reason is that the computer seems to simulate the logical aspect of human brain function but not the KANSEI aspect so far. The KANSEI information has some characteristics different from that of the logical information such as the subjectivity, multivocality, ambiguity and intuitiveness. Another field where the KANSEI plays an important role is robotics. Since the robots in near future will be operated in the environment built for humans, it is necessary for the robots to have configurations and functions that are suited for human residential environments. Moreover, the robots will be engaged in their operations in collaboration with human. Therefore, smooth communication with humans will be indispensable. This means that the physical behavioral space and the information related mental space of a robot should have a high compatibility and permeability with those of the human. Especially, emotion is one of the most important factors that has crucial influence on the success or failure of communication in our human community. Therefore, if the robot had the same "mind" (intelligence, emotion, and will) as human, it would be much easier for robot to perform the cooperative works with human. Moreover, robots to work with human have to understand the environment with multi-modal sensing ability just as human do. In these processes, an active KANSEI intelligence will be created on the robot to allow it to perform collaborative works with the human smoothly and flexibly. To create the human-like KANSEI in machine we have to study its mechanism. Psychology and cognitive science give us a lot of knowledge on human mind. According to them we can implement KANSEI functionality in the robot as the rule-based approach. KANSEI mechanism seems to have extremely high complexity to make the rule complicated and hard to be applied. Therefore, the use of neural network may be another promising approach in the KANSEI implementation. In such way, a variety of robots have been developed and some of them are used successfully for the mental medical treatment, welfare and entertainment. These "KANSEI robots" seem to understand human feeling to some extent and appeal us with their reactions. However, they are not the machines with heart but the machines that look like having hearts. Our long range challenge is to make a machine with a heart in real meaning. In my consideration, we must overcome three main difficulties before realizing this dream. The first one is the limitation of hardware. Most of the exiting robots consist of metal body and silicon brain. We should search for different materials which are soft, flexible and easy to organize. The second is software complexity. As the system becomes complex more and more, the detailed programming becomes almost impossible and the testability goes down. We need a new way of production to integrate self-organizing software and hardware. The last difficulty is not in technology but in the philosophy and ethics. As far as we obey Asimov's three laws of robotics, we cannot have a machine that is real human partner. We will have to reconsider and establish a new relationship between human and machine. In my talk I would like to introduce the background and possibility of KANSEI robotics with some examples to activate the discussions for the new era of robotics.

    ホスト出版物のタイトルProceedings - IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication
    出版ステータスPublished - 2006
    イベントRO-MAN 2006 - The 15th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication - Hatfield
    継続期間: 2006 9月 62006 9月 8


    OtherRO-MAN 2006 - The 15th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • 工学(全般)


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