Hormone Cascades in Future Robots May Make it Easier for People to Form Working Relationships With Robots

Published by , October 26, 2015 11:30 am

(BBC) — Hormone cascades could be integrated into all kinds of robots in the future to make them appear less stilted and more easy for people be around. Ph.D. student Jim Finnis in Aberystwyth University’s intelligent robotics group explained that a robot that gets “tired and hormonal” could be useful — especially in health and social care. An earlier study from the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science showed people are more likely to form successful “working relationships” with robots that display human-like imperfections in thinking and behavior.

Also, a hormonal endocrine system can allow for robotic machines to save power and shut off non-essential functions when energy levels are running low. There is a risk the behavior of more complex robots with hormones, like that of people, would become difficult to foresee. Dr. Mark Neal, coordinator of the intelligent robotics group, sees that as inevitable. “If you want to have smart software,” he said, “you have to put up with unpredictability.”

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