Time to cry: meet the little robot boy who can ‘feel’ pain

World

Time to cry: meet the little robot boy who can ‘feel’ pain

As a machine learns to wince, we're closer to a ‘Blade Runner’ future where androids are indistinguishable from humans

Sarah Knapton

A future in which androids look and feel so much like humans that they start to believe they are actually alive – as depicted in the 1992 film Blade Runner – may soon be reality.

Scientists in Japan have invented a robot that can “feel” pain and is programmed to visibly wince when an electric charge is applied to its synthetic skin.

The team from Osaka University is hoping that coding pain sensors into machines will help them develop empathy to human suffering, so they can act as more compassionate companions...

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