Singaporean robot creator Wong Choon Yue raises his left hand and swipes it past a sensor in a high-five gesture.
Halfway across the room, a robot named EDGAR with an expressive face made of polyethene, two hands and a torso atop a trolley with wheels, mimics the gesture, smacking its hand into that of Wong’s wife and colleague, Pang Wee Ching.
For the last six years, the couple has been developing EDGAR, short for Expressions Display and Gesturing Avatar Robot, which lets people in different locations transmit gestures and facial expressions to each other.
They say their project is the next step in the field of communications, adding to voice and video provided by applications such as Skype.
“Perhaps I have a child who is living overseas, and she misses my cooking very much. What I can do with this technology is that I log onto the robot where she is and I can use it to make her favourite Chinese chicken rice,” Wong said.