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2018 C.E.S. Las Vegas: How a Honda Robot Recognizes Emotion and Expresses Empathy

I first began reporting on Honda Robotics nearly a decade ago with the advent of ASIMO. In 2016, I would experience Honda’s compact humanoid in Tokyo. It was a life-changing experience. Can a Honda Robot recognize emotional distress and express empathy?


As several automakers transition to consumer electronic shows for the go-to media launching pad of not only automotive-electronic innovations but near-future, new car and light trucks, Honda displays new innovations in Advanced Robotics. It’s a glimpse into a not too future brave new world where Robots of all kinds, will do the heavy lifting, physically, and with human emotions. So says Honda.

I appreciate Honda’s years-long foray into advanced human mobility assistance. Torque News first reported on mobility assistance here. And for the latch-key senior with no emotional support, we discover 3E-A18 Empathy, a support module that can recognize facial expressions, and then express human emotions. Creepy? This compact, mobile, soft-skinned, robiton, could replace human companionship for the socially awkward. Or, simply sooth the emotionally challenged among us. Looking to the carpeted floor in my office: I wonder how 3E rolls on carpeting?
From an autonomous guided electric quad to mobility aids and social services; Honda see’s a place for robotics in society as not a human replacement, but instead, an automated, programmed device that can assist in real life applications.

Yes, it does come with a deactivation switch

Here’s what Honda has scheduled for 2018 C.E.S.. 3E Robotics Concept demonstrates Honda's vision of a society where robotics and AI can assist people and expand their life's potential.

Mobile Power Pack World showcases range of utility, accessibility, and convenience of a renewable energy solution.

Each technology theme seeks to foster collaboration with partners.

Technology demonstrations at Honda's CES booth (LVCC, North Hall – 7923), January 9 – 12, 2018.

How do you see the future of Robotics? Can humans works side by side with intelligent Robots without being displaced in the workplace? Please leave your thought-provoking comment below, and then share.

Photo and video attributions: American Honda 2018.