Omron’s table-tennis-playing robot Forpheus has demonstrated its ability to detect emotions and match performance level in order to keep a human opponent engaged.

Emotional recognition system can sense human frustration by reading the data from camera, or analysing heart rate, and adjust accordingly, shared Omron’s Marketing Group Manager Keith Kersten:

“If you were frustrated a little bit in the beginning, it sensed that and then eased off a little bit and made it a little bit easier to keep you encouraged”

Kersten has also added that the ability to adjust the performance level is not only useful for pleasing humans, but can serve educational purposes in training beginners or table tennis experts:

“Like any good coach, being able to not just look at your skill level but also how you’re doing emotionally – that’s really how you bring out the best in people”

Omron’s robot is seen by the company as a step forward in “improving  the relationship between machines and humans through ping pong rallies,” reads the company webpage.

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Photo credit: Omron