Do you ever find yourself stuck in a huge traffic jam? Or maybe you missed your exit and don’t know how to get back? Have no fear, there is no reason to go to pieces, there’s a nice robot GPS ready to assist you.
Today’s GPS systems give drivers information in the only way they know how and sometimes it is hard to understand, or it is given at a bad time, or is not what you expected. Yelling at it doesn’t really help, but that’s what a lot of people do. But soon there may be a better solution than throwing that GPS out the window because a Cambridge University scientist is designing a GPS system that understands emotion and adjusts how it acts by how it reads the driver’s emotions.
Cambridge University scientist Professor Peter Robinson came up with the idea when he got upset with his own GPS system while driving on some complicated roads. He wanted a new kind of system that would understand how a driver feels in confusing situations. He decided to come up with one that recognizes your facial expressions and tone of voice and reacts to it appropriately.
The GPS uses special sensors and voice recognition to detect things like a raised voice, frowns, or other emotional outbursts and gestures. The prototype ran this information into a computer program inside a robotic head sitting by the driver.
If a driver shows they are angry, the head responds with sympathetic expressions and sounds. It then tries to make the feel better by speaking in a calm tone of voice and giving simple instructions to help them out of the problem situation.
The test model correctly interpreted his emotions 70 percent of the time, which is about the same as a real person, according to Robinson.