A new human-like robot named Nadine, or robots like her, may someday care for dementia patients and the elderly (video below).
"If you leave these people alone they will be going down very quickly," Nadia Thalmann, Nadine's creator, told Reuters. "So these people need to always be in interaction."
"I am a social companion," Nadine said. "I can speak with emotions and I can recognize people."
Nadine was modeled after Thalmann, who created the robot with her team of researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Thalmann designed Nadine to express emotions, remember previous conversations, tell stories, and play games.
"She's truly like a companion, you know," Thalmann said. "It's like a beautiful sculpture, if you look, but she has life and she can interact with you."
The more Nadine interacts with people, the more her vocabulary and knowledge grows. The robot also chooses what to say, which makes her conversations unique.
In a demonstration, Thalmann told Nadine that she doesn't like her, and Nadine replied, "I don't like to talk with you."
Thalmann's team is still working on Nadine's hands, voice and movements.
"As countries worldwide face challenges of an aging population, social robots can be one solution to address the shrinking workforce, become personal companions for children and the elderly at home, and even serve as a platform for healthcare services in future," Thalmann said in Nanyang Technological University's December 2015 press release.
"This is somewhat like a real companion that is always with you and conscious of what is happening," she added. "So in future, these socially intelligent robots could be like C-3PO, the iconic golden droid from 'Star Wars', with knowledge of language and etiquette."
According to the university, "Nadine is powered by intelligent software similar to Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana."