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Why Robot That Gets 'tired and Hormonal' Is a Good Thing

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Aberystwyth University's ExoMars Rover, Blodwen.

Aberystwyth University's intelligent robotics group suggests a robot that gets "tired and hormonal" could offer advantages over one that does not.

Credit: Michael Burgess, Philip John

Having certain robots operate using the electronic equivalent of an endocrine system could present advantages, according to researchers in Aberystwyth University's Intelligent Robotics Group.

In one example, the university's ExoMars Rover employs coded hormones triggered when the machine's electric current and temperature exceed a certain level in order to change the rover's behavior and facilitate smoother performance.

Another benefit of a robotic endrocrine system is its ability to enable the machines to save power and deactivate non-essential operations when energy levels are low.

Aberystwyth Ph.D. student Jim Finnis thinks the integration of hormone cascades into various future robots could make them seem less stilted and increase people's comfort levels with them. "Where you are living with a robot all of the time, a hormonal system might help," he says. "Instead of a robot that suddenly announces it has run out of power and switches off, the robot's behavior would become more slow. It would start taking more rests and pauses, it would stay still longer. Eventually, it would announce it is going to bed."

From BBC News
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