Dancing, talking robots show off at Madrid congress

A man moves his finger toward an SVH automated hand made by Schunk during the 2014 IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid
A man moves his finger toward an SVH automated hand made by Schunk during the 2014 IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots in Madrid, November 19, 2014

Hundreds of robotics experts and their whirring, flashing robot creations gathered in Madrid on Wednesday for a top world congress on humanoid technology.

"Hello human friends, I am Reem-C," said one of the guest exhibits, a 1.65-metre (five-and-a-half-foot) weighing 80 kilos (176 pounds).

Robots big and small showed off their skills at dancing, cooking and even training accident victims to walk again.

The 2014 International Conference on Humanoid Robots runs until Thursday at Carlos III University in the Spanish capital.

"There is quite a big explosion of robots currently," said one of the participants, Frederik Bengtsson, a Swedish student.

One of 430 participants from 31 countries, he entered a competition at the congress to programme some of the robots.

"The technology is getting cheaper and faster so it's a really fast-growing area, like computing a few years ago," he said.

Researchers are now trying to programme emotional responses in robots, said another expert, Santiago Martinez from Carlos III's Robotics Lab.

Humanoid robot REEM-C of Pal Robotics moves in front of journalists during the 2014 IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoi
Humanoid robot REEM-C of Pal Robotics moves in front of journalists during the 2014 IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots in Madrid, November 19, 2014

"But making a machine that can think is complicated," he said. "We will not see it in the near future."


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Nov 20, 2014
It seems to me that instead of working on giving emotional responses they should focus on making movements faster and smoother. Because you don't really need a robot to work on human-machine interaction. A screen, a speaker and a microphone is enough. But walking at the same pace as a human being for instance would be quite an achievement.

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