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Sony patents pet-like “feeling deduction” robot companion for gamers

Sony is working on – or, at the very least, has given sufficient thought to the matter to warrant a patent submission – a “feeling deduction” robot designed to serve as a companion for gamers.

The patent, which was initially submitted in 2018, but appeared on the US Patent & Trademark Office’s website earlier this week, details a control system, in the guise of a “human-type pet-type” robot or virtual reality companion, that’s able to deduce a user’s feelings – ranging from joy and anger to love and and surprise – through photographic and audio data, then respond appropriately using movement, sound, even speech.

“In order to construct a good relationship with other people,” the newly revealed patent document explains, “it is said that a ‘joint viewing experience’ in which people see the same thing is effective instead of a ‘face-to-face relationship’. It is known that by seeing the same thing at the same place and empathising with each other, the distance to the other people is shortened and affinity with the other people is increased.”

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