The robot is installed with 48 "actuators" which allow its face and body to move in a variety of ways. It shows happiness by opening its eyes and mouth wide and raising its arms, and sorrow by drooping its head and covering its eyes. The robot's hands are covered with a soft material which is supposed to replicate the feeling of a human hand.
Takanishi believes KOBIAN is the first robot able to express emotion with its entire body.
He said the ability to express feeling was an "important factor" in achieving "natural communication" between robots and humans. The professor hopes robots such as KOBIAN could be used in the future to help elderly people with housework and in nursing homes.
Waseda University set up the Humanoid Robotics Institute in April 2000 to carry out research on creating new relationships between humans and machines.
According to its website, the institute hopes to create a robot which will eventually experience the same patterns of thought and behavior as a human being. (CBS4Denver)