London: Scientists have developed an interactive life-sized robot that acts as a stand-up comic and has already garnered many laughs from the audience during its unique performance here.
RoboThespian, a robot designed by Engineered Arts of Cornwall in the UK, told jokes that were well received in a recent performance at the Barbican Center in London.
The performance was the idea of Pat Healey, professor of human interaction and head of the school`s Cognitive Science Group, and Kleomenis Katevas, doctoral candidate, both at Queen Mary University of London.
The humanoid has been developed for human interaction as an interactive, customisable robot that can be programmed to communicate or entertain. The robot is made available for purchase, lease or rental.
Healey and Katevas put the robot on stage in London as an experiment in audience interaction with a robot engaged in comedy. The two researchers aim to find out more about making a robot socially engaging, `phys.Org` reported.
As audience members watched the robot tell jokes, cameras tracked facial expressions, gaze and head movements.
The human reactions to the robot`s performance were compared to responses to two human comedians that had performed before the robot went on stage.
The RoboThespian`s stand-up routine is not the first attempt by researchers to explore how robot and human interactions, through humour, might pan out.
Heather Knight, a social robotics researcher at Carnegie Mellon, introduced Data several years ago as a two feet tall comedian at a 2010 Ted Talk.