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Human’s best friend is getting an upgrade. Anne Flagg & Karon MacLean at the University of British Columbia SPIN Labs have developed a robot that reacts “emotionally” to human touch.

The fur is interwoven with conductive threads. When different hand gestures are applied to the fur, it will interpret the “emotional” fingerprint and react accordingly. What’s even freakier is the sensor learnt how to react a certain way from 17 volunteers who petted the “Smart Fur”, each individual petted the fur blob in a different way, but there was enough similarity for the system to learn a pattern and interpret an emotional response. Over time this sort of future tech will make robots of the future have an eerie life like character.

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