Sooner or later, I’m going to have to realise that the voices in my head don’t count as real companionship. Especially the one that wants me to burn everything down. Robots count though! Especially robots not built by these dodgy hands, but rather by trained professionals from the land of mecha, Japan. That’s the idea behind a new patent that Sony has submitted (cheers, IGN), which details a little fella who’ll mech your life great again.
According to the patent, the bot will emote through its eyes, and can use a small range of movements in its arms, legs and neck with which to grab your attention using a “feeling deduction unit” to sense your emotions. Sony’s patent describes an “autonomous” robot that can even play games with you:
It is expected that the user’s affinity with the robot is increased and motivation for playing a game is enhanced by the robot viewing the gameplay next to the user and being pleased or sad together with the user. Further, regarding not only the game but also a movie, a television program, or the like, it is expected that the user may enjoy content more by viewing the content with the robot as compared to the case of viewing it alone.
Using a love index, the robot will even react to how you treat it. Show it love and it’ll reciprocate those feelings with beeps of joy I’d imagine. Ignore it and fail to charge it, and it will ostracise you while also not lending any moral support when it detects a video game that you’re playing. Throw it in a fire to burn and it’ll wonder why it was programmed to feel pain. I’m also making that last part up, holy crap even I’m not that bad.
Also mentioned in the patent? A computer-generated version of this companion which can be viewed in virtual reality:
A mechanism is proposed in which the content is reproduced in front of the user, and when the user turns sideways, the user may see how the virtual character is viewing the content together with the user,” the patent reads. So you can watch your virtual sympathy robot watching you play games if you want.
It sounds fantastical, and definitely ahead of its time to create as a mass market product. Still, it’s an interesting idea for Sony to work on. Maybe it’ll be ready in time for the PlayStation 6. A date which we’ll call Judgement Day when it arrives.
Last Updated: April 17, 2020