Robot Head with Facial Expressions for 6 Emotions (2007)
Tamagotchis, Aibo pets and the virtual inhabitants of the computer game The Sims can be seen as "artificial beings" with at least one important thing in common; they aim to interact with humans in a natural way. To achieve this, they simulate and show emotions that are interpretable by us humans.
Cognitive scientists and artificial intelligence researchers use computational models of emotion to research what a certain emotion means in terms of beliefs about the world, and what are the potential effects of that emotion? For example, why am I happy when I win the lottery? When embedded in an artificial being, a computational model shows emotional reactions to situations and can be used to experiment with our theories about emotion.
Earl the Robot Head
In the Affective Computing course (Summer 2006), students learned different views on emotion and different models of emotion. Together, the teachers and students in the course developed a new robot head with affective (emotional) states and expressions. This robot head, called Earl, was then used to study how emotions can be used in learning tasks. See a video of Earl the Robot Head.
Joost Broekens (2007), Emotion and Reinforcement: Affective facial expressions facilitate robot learning, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, Special Volume on Artificial Intelligence for Human Computing, LNAI 4451, pp 113-132.