Adrian David Cheok gives keynote speech at EmTech Asia 2017

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By Nanotechnology Now – February 22nd, 2017


Space 4.0: A New Era for Space Exploration panel (L-R): Daniel Hastings, CEO and Director, Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) & Former Chief Scientist, US Air Force; Dava Newman, Apollo Program Professor Chair, MIT; David Oh, Project Systems Engineer and Former Lead Flight Director, Curiosity Mars Rover, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab; Matthew Bold, Principle Researcher, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company Advanced Technology Center; Kay Soon Low, Professor/Director of Satellite Technology And Research (STAR) Centre, National University of Singapore and Rohit Jha, Engineer and CEO, Transcelestial

“EmTech Asia is always a great event. We meet amazing men and women from around the world and we talk about technology that is going to change the future. There is work in bio-medical areas, in artificial intelligence, computer vision, virtual reality. It also gives many people a chance to get together and talk about new things they might be able to collaborate on, might be able to discover and, most importantly, how they can contribute to positive things for all of humanity. And we mean that sincerely, that’s why EmTech Asia is so important and that’s why Singapore is proud to host it.” said Steve Leonard (pictured above), Founding CEO of SGInnovate and Disruptive Innovation Partner of EmTech Asia.

One of the key themes was space exploration, featuring speakers from NASA and MIT such as Dava Newman, Apollo Program Professor Chair, MIT and Former Deputy Director of NASA; and David Oh, Project Systems Engineer and Former Lead Flight Director, Curiosity Mars Rover, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. Both speakers were also engaged in a conversational panel hosted by the ArtScience Museum (ASM) in collaboration with EmTech Asia. The panel was held in conjunction with the NASA exhibition at the ASM, and was attended by over 130 students, teachers and media representatives.

The MIT Hacking Medicine Robotics Singapore 2017, was held the weekend leading up to EmTech Asia 2017 where the winners took to the stage to discuss their hackathon experiences and the potential for robotics to provide long-term solutions in elderly care and the overarching healthcare industry in Singapore. Held from 10 to 12 February at SGInnovate, the hackathon aimed to address unmet needs in elderly care and medicine and how robotics can play a role in aiding an ageing society. The winning team, Botler, created a patient-friendly autonomous transport for social robotics in eldercare.

This year’s conference featured a session on materials science with Jackie Ying, Executive Director, Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, A*STAR. Her presentation, Nanostructured Materials for Energy and Biomedical Applications, described the synthesis of metallic, metal oxide, semiconducting and organic nanoparticles and nanocomposites of controlled size, morphology and architecture while discussing their unique properties. The cybersecurity session was led by Walter O’Brien, CEO, Scorpion Computer Services and Executive Producer of hit TV series Scorpion, who spoke about how countries can better protect themselves against cyber security threats.

According to Ron Cellini, Analog Garage/Emerging Business Group at Analog Devices and Cybersecurity Partner of the event, “The main take away from EmTech Asia is not just the ideas presented but the enthusiasm behind them. It is great to see the speakers go up the stage and feel the passion for what they are doing. What’s different at EmTech Asia compared to other conferences is the quality. The quality of the presentations, the quality of the folks you meet. You are not going to come here just to hear presentations that you’ve heard before. You’re going to hear things that are new and that challenge you. The pace, the interactivity with some of the talks, the ability of questioning that continually. This conference really encourages you to participate. I definitely met the right people here. I’ve got a whole stack of things I need to do when I leave this conference and for me that’s the best metric for when I go to conferences.”

EmTech Asia 2017 also featured a session on a Brave New (Bio-Engineered) World, which featured Le Cong, Postdoctoral Fellow, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, who introduced advances on genome editing tools using CRISPR system, and highlighted how genomics analysis could be integrated to transform our ability to understand and treat complex diseases such as cancer. Other sessions include The Story and The Prototype, by Mike North, Host of Prototype This!, on the Discovery Channel. Mike shared his rapid prototyping philosophy of designing story and prototype, testing them as fast as possible, seeing where they work and fail, and then iterating to deliver well-branded relevant products. A light-hearted demo was presented by Adrian David Cheok, Director, Imagineering Institute & Chair Professor of Pervasive Computing, City University of London during his Everysense Everywhere Human Communication presentation, where he demonstrated the Kissenger, Thermal and Electric taste applications with the help of conference delegates.

10 innovators under the age of 35 took to the stage to present their elevator pitch at the conference, highlighting their work and research. EmTech Asia celebrated these 10 young innovators under the age of 35, recognised on the 2017 regional ‘Innovators under 35’ list by MIT Technology Review. Their inventions and research were found to be most ground breaking and exciting from more than 100 nominations from Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.

For one of the Innovators Under 35, Dhesi Raja, Chief Scientist and Cofounder of Artificial Intelligence in Medical Epidemiology (AIME), the event turned into an opportunity to raise capital, “Emtech Asia (and Singapore) is definitely the next hub after Silicon Valley that you want to be part of, where great minds meet. Besides the mind blowing convergence of technology, engineering, medicine & entrepreneurship, a vast network of investors has also enabled us to verbally secure a deal worth S$ 200,000, just after a 3 minute pitch. Yes! This is the next valley! Singapore valley!”

Key sponsors and partners of EmTech Asia this year included Host Partner, Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA); Diamond Sponsor, Accenture; Disruptive Innovation Partner, SGInnovate; Innovation Partner, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART); Cybersecurity Partner, Analog Devices (ADI); Silver Sponsors L’Oréal Research & Innovation and SAP Innovation Center. Partners, MIT Professional Education, MIT Hacking Medicine, Solve and Workforce Singapore. Media Partners included Asia-Pacific Biotech News, Asian Scientist, Biotechin.Asia, Geeks in Cambodia, Research SEA, Startup Bangkok, The Tech Portal India and TechStorm TV.

EmTech Asia will return in January 2018. Visit to learn more.

Digital Smell Interface

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By Surina Hariri, Nur Ain Mustaffa, Muhd Khir Hafifi Muid, Sharon Kalu Joseph Ufere, Kasun Karunanayaka, Adrian David Cheok.

The digital stimulation of smell is considered as a useful step in expanding the technology related to multisensory communication. Previous methods for activating the sensation of smell chemically, has several disadvantages such as lower controllability, expensive, needed to be refilled, and being complex. In this project, we are researching on developing a new interface that can induce weak electrical pulses on the smell receptors and generate smell sensations (The concept of this interface is shown in Figure 01). We believe by using a weak electrical signal can excite the smell receptors and generate smell perceptions.

The sensitivity and effectiveness of electrical stimulation towards human smell receptors will be tested using a current controller device. The device as in Figure 2 is equipped with adjustable parameters; adjustable frequency and current to produce electrical pulses required. The stimulation process including putting a pair of customized silver electrodes inside the part of the nose where it touches the olfactory nerves.

Generally, the smell sensitive receptors are located near the olfactory bulb and nasal concha (The anatomy of the nasal conchae shown in Figure 3). There are three regions inside the nostrils called superior nasal concha, middle nasal concha and inferior nasal concha which are nearest to the olfactory receptors where stimulating electrode could be placed. Therefore, we mainly stimulate receptor cells in this area in purpose to trigger smell related perceptions in the human brain. The placement of electrodes will be done with a help of a medical expert in a way that electrodes would not come off quickly. These electrodes will be controlled by our own special designed circuit that can deliver few mili-amperes of current pulses to the smell sensitive cells.

In most of the olfactory system related studies examining electrical activity of the olfactory bulb, an adequate olfactory stimulus such as blowing odorous air into the nose has been used as a routine method of activating the olfactory bulb. Only few attempts has been made to do a electrical stimulation of the olfactory system. In 1961 Yamamoto has stimulated the human olfactory mucosa by electrical pulse to detect the bulbar potentials. Electrical stimulation (2 mA, 0.5 ms) of the human olfactory mucosa evoked a change in potential recorded from the frontal sector of the head. Ishimaru et al. has conducted an experiment in 1997. During that experiment the properties of the olfactory bulb potential evoked by electrical stimulation of the olfactory mucosa were studied in rabbits immobilized with d-tubocurarine. The evoked potential was a slow negative wave when recorded from the surface of the bulb. Therefore, this field is still remained as an untouched area for exploration of new possibilities until today. In 2002 Ishimaru et al. concluded that electrical olfactory evoked potential (EOEP) is suitable for electrophysiology. The relationship between the EOEP and Toyoda and Takagi’s perfumist’s strip method T&T olfactometry which is a standard Japanese means of psychophysical olfactometry are investigated. Electrical stimulation via bipolar electrodes (2mA, 0.5ms, 300 trials) is feed to the olfactory mucosa. 4 channels of EOEP are amplified, filtered (2 to 250Hz) and recorded. During electrical stimulation of right or left of the olfactory mucosa evoked an electrical olfactory evoked potential. However, there is no sense of smell occurred. Tali et al. also concluded that indiscriminate electrical stimulation of the olfactory mucosa does not produce olfactory perception but does alter activity in deep brain structures.

We hope in future, we will be able to develop a combined interface where we can effectively regenerate smell sensations digitally. This digital regeneration of smell will be useful for several industries like gaming, virtual reality, entertainment, online marketing, where people can create content, information, food related to smell that can be shared, learned, and experienced. In Medical industry this research will be useful to treat patients who are suffering from medical conditions like Ansomia and Parosmia.


Electric Smell Interface

Última parada: después del sexo con autómatas, casarse con un robot

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By  – 11 February 2017 – PlayGround


“En 2050 el sexo con robots será popular, las parejas humano-robot comunes y el matrimonio con robots legal”, aseguran estos expertos. De momento, los fabricantes de muñecas sexuales empiezan a usar Inteligencia Artificial para que las dolls simulen tener sentimientos


Hace veinte años, en el garaje de su casa, Matt McMullen —un joven artista de 26 años por aquel entonces— diseñó una muñeca femenina, le hizo fotografías y las colgó en Internet. Alguien que las vio le mandó un email para pedirle un encargo: quería una, pero a tamaño real y con la que pudiera practicar sexo.

Desde aquel primer maniquí sexy y asombrosamente realista, que para él era poco más que una broma, McMullen comprobó que existen miles de personas dispuestas a pagar varios miles de dólares para hacerse con una muñeca sexual. Abyss Creation, la empresa que levantó en un polígono industrial de San Marcos (California), ha vendido cerca de 8.000 unidades desde su fundación. Miles de real dolls que no son rasposos trozos de plástico, sino ‘chicas’ de piel de silicona para que su tacto no sea frío, con pecas, maquillaje, pechos de diferentes formas y tamaños a los que nunca afecta la ley de la gravedad y con un esqueleto metálico incorporado que les permite adaptar y mantener todo tipo de posturas. Muy pronto, además, sus clientes podrán tener conversaciones con sus dolls.

Y no, no nos referimos a ‘hablar solos’ mientras acarician el pelo de ellas.

“En 2050, el sexo con robots será popular, las parejas humano-robot comunes y el matrimonio entre ambos se aprobará en diferentes partes del mundo” (David Levy)

El nuevo proyecto de McMullen, que cuenta que lanzará al mercado a finales de año, promete revolucionar el mercado del sexo con no humanos. Su empresa ha trabajado con ingenieros en robótica para desarrollar una inteligencia artificial que integrará en sus dolls.

Matt quiere hacer posible que sus ‘chicas’ inertes hablen y recuerden, además de conseguir que puedan pestañear y mover la cabeza y los labios siguiendo las frases que pronuncian.

La innovación abre las puertas a una predicción que David Levy, especialista en Inteligencia Artificial, realizaba recientemente durante el segundo congreso Love and Sex With Robots celebrado en la Goldsmith University de Londres: que en 2050 el sexo con robots será popular, las parejas humano-robot comunes y el matrimonio con robots se aprobará en diferentes partes del mundo.

¿Suena difícil de creer? Bueno, expertos como Adrian Cheok, profesor de computación en la City University de Londres y director del Mixed Reality Lab, opinan que esa predicción no es para nada disparatada.

“Puede parecer una afirmación extravagante, porque estamos hablando a 35 años vista. Pero hace 35 años la gente pensaba que el matrimonio homosexual era intolerable”, comenta Cheok en declaraciones a Quartz. “Hasta los años 70, algunos Estados de EEUU no permitían el matrimonio entre ciudadanos blancos y negros. La sociedad progresa y cambia muy rápidamente”.

Aunque Cheok reconoce que los robots sexuales son, mayormente, una proyección de las fantasías sexuales masculinas más sexistas, a su juicio los matrimonios entre humanos y robots podría tener un efecto abrumadoramente positivo en la sociedad. “La gente asume que todo el mundo puede casarse, tener sexo, enamorarse. Pero en la realidad muchos no pueden”, señala. Pero incluso quienes pueden, incide Cheok, podrían encontrar valor en opciones diferentes. “Muchos matrimonios humanos son muy infelices. Si consideramos el contexto de un mal matrimonio, un robot siempre será mejor que un humano”.

I. Me siento atraído por un robot

“La inteligencia artificial dará un día a los robots un mayor poder de razonamiento del que hoy tienen. Y solo hay que considerar qué cosas hacen que un ser humano se fije en otro para replicarlas. ¿Cómo nos sentimos atraídos por otra persona? Belleza, inteligencia, riqueza, integridad personal… todo eso se aplicará a las relaciones robot-humanas. Un robot simulará corresponder los afectos humanos, y eso construirá una relación. Se creará una creíble apariencia de reciprocidad”, nos dice Chamari Edirisinghe, ingeniera informática del Imagineering Institute.

El futuro de las relaciones sexo-emocionales con robots avanza hacia las programaciones a la carta. ¿Deseas un sexbot tímido o extrovertido? ¿Inocente o intelectual? ¿Voluptuosamente sensual o más frío? Además de poder elegir una cara, un cuerpo o una clase de pezón, se podrán combinar diferentes características para configurar una personalidad que se va haciendo única debido a que el propio autómata aprende por su cuenta con cada conversación que mantiene.

¿Te ha ido bien en el trabajo?

¿Cómo estás hoy?

¿Eres feliz?

Acércate, un poco más cerca.

Un robot simulará corresponder los afectos humanos, y eso construirá una relación

La intimidad viene más por la forma en la que conectamos con alguien. Con los seres humanos, incluso si un encuentro sexual con otra persona es muy breve, sin ninguna otra forma de interacción excepto la sexual, sigue siendo íntimo. Con los robots sexuales estamos tratando de hacer la masturbación o el placer sexual individual más íntimo. Proporcionar una experiencia de inmersión será fundamental para que el usuario sienta que los sexbots están comprometidos”, explica Lynne Hall, investigadora del Departamento de Ciencias Informáticas de la Universidad de Sunderland.

Así que si el robot recuerda que te gustan las flores amarillas y comer pizza, parecerá un poco más de carne y hueso.

Si se gira para preguntarte cómo estás, pensarás que se preocupa.

Y si sus dedos te llevan a orgasmos superlativos y luego reís, lo sentirás como complicidad.

No tienen sentimientos, porque solo son un conjunto de ceros y unos, pero el desarrollo de su diseño consiste en crear la ilusión de que los poseen.

II. Quiénes guardarán un sexbot en el armario

Lars y una chica de verdad, la película de Craig Gillespie en la que Ryan Gosling interpreta a un hombre retraído que pasea, cuida y mima a una de las muñecas que hizo para el filme McMullen, puede dar una imagen equivocada de quiénes adquieren a las dolls de silicona o, en el futuro, a los sexbots. Para empezar porque, de momento, la mayoría de los clientes no se encuentran en la treintena, sino que están entre sus 55 y 65 primaveras.

“No es fácil esbozar un perfil”, puntualiza McMullen. “Normalmente se trata de personas que se sienten solas en su vida o arrastran mucho dolor de relaciones pasadas y la idea de la muñeca y los robots es segura para ellos para no sufrir otra decepción”. Pero quedarnos con esta imagen sería injusta, por demasiado reduccionista.

Padres de hijos autistas o con discapacidades compran estos productos para que puedan satisfacer sus necesidades. Psiquiatras los tienen en sus clínicas para tratar a acosadores sexuales. Parejas que quieren mejorar sus relaciones sexuales los utilizan. Vince Neil, el que fuera cantante de la banda de hard rock Mötley Crüe, se hizo con una.

La idea de la muñeca y los robots es segura para ellos para no sufrir otra decepción

Cualquiera, sin un perfil determinado, pero con las ganas de fundirse entre 5.000 y 10.000 dólares porque le da la gana, puede tener una real doll en su alcoba. O uno. Porque los male dolls también existen, aunque las mujeres representan un porcentaje mínimo en el volumen de las compras. Un 10%.

Algunos achacan este uso descompensado a una forma distinta de experimentar las relaciones. “Creo que en los hombres, la vista y el poder tocar juegan un papel clave mientras que las mujeres tiene mayor peso la fantasía y la imaginación, no solo lo físico”, opina McMullen, quien tiene la intención de desarrollar versiones masculinas de sus robots, pero más adelante.

Para otras voces, sin embargo, ese desequilibrio se debe a dos causas: un problema de género que impide a las mujeres liberarse sexualmente, sumado a que los robots sexuales, como gran parte de la tecnología que usamos hoy en día, han sido diseñados “por hombres y para hombres”, como señala Kate Devlin, feminista, experta en IA y defensora del uso de sexbots.

Una máquina es una pizarra en blanco. La sociedad se está replanteando el dualismo sexo/género. ¿Por qué un robot sexual debería ser binario? ¿Por qué no se exploran nuevas ideas inclusivas y de cambio social?”, plantea Devlin en uno de sus artículos.

III. El momento en el que un robot te rompe el corazón

Con la inminente aparición de esta clase autómatas diseñados para el sexo y el amor, surgen las primeras cuestiones morales. Cuestiones como calibrar si estas tecnologías pueden existir al margen de las leyes que regulan las relaciones sexuales entre humanos. Por ejemplo, ¿debería ser ilegal fabricar muñecas sexuales con aspecto de niñas? ¿O robots de tallas anoréxicas? ¿Deberían descartarse los encargos que piden copias exactas de personas reales? ¿Debería programarse a los robots para que tuvieran una especie de ‘conciencia’ moral?  

Oliver Bendel, filósofo y científico informático alemán, recuerda que el mes pasado, en el congreso Love and Sex with Robots, le hicieron las siguientes preguntas: ¿Es posible serle infiel a un humano con un robot sexual? ¿Debería un hombre o una mujer sentirse celoso por el affaire de su pareja con un autómata?

Su respuesta es que, a medida en que se avance en la sofisticación de estos robots, a medida que se mejore su capacidad de habla y sus movimientos, todavía limitados, la posibilidad de los celos y la sensación de infidelidad es inevitable.

Bendel subraya que los robots pueden hacernos sufrir a nosotros y a otros. “Con su cuerpo —con los miembros que lo componen— pueden dañarnos físicamente mientras se usan y sus capacidades lingüísticas pueden ofendernos con ciertas palabras o diciendo la verdad o la mentira”, manifiesta. Pueden generarnos incluso un doloroso sentimiento de frustración al caer nosotros en la cuenta de que nunca nos amarán realmente. Para él, los sexbots nunca serán esos compañeros perfectos libres de riesgos que dibujan otros.

Se recuerda que en 1997, cuando se comenzaban a vender las real dolls, Matt McMullen acudió al espectáculo televisivo de Howard Stern. Después de prometerle que le fabricaría una muñeca y entregársela, Stern declaró: “¡De las mejores relaciones sexuales que he mantenido en mi vida. Se siente que con una mujer de verdad!”.

Posiblemente aquella afirmación estuviera en el guión, fuera parte del show, pero 20 años después, a punto de darse un paso definitivo hacia los robots sexuales con inteligencia artificial, brota la duda de si reemplazarán a las personas. “Creo que en algunos casos sí, pero no serán muchos. Los robots no están diseñados para reemplazar a las personas sino para ser una alternativa y una experiencia”, aclara McMullen. “ Muchos me preguntan si pudiendo tener sexbots atractivos, como Scarlett Johansson o Brad Pitt, dejaremos de preferir la relación con los humanos. Es obvio que todos tenemos ideales, pero se nos olvida que existen conexiones todavía más importantes que no surgen del aspecto”.

Sonic Metaphors

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By Predrag K. Nikolic, Adrian David Cheok



Sonic Interaction Design (SID) is an interdisciplinary design approach where sound has a main role in

development of user’s interactions with electronic devices or digital system and giving them

meanings. SID research falls within a diverse range of emerging disciplines and approaches

researching tactile, performative, and multisensory aspects of sonic experience.


Sonic Metaphors is research project directed toward exploration of how interactive user experience

can be enhanced if human values and cognition directs the process of designing content and

services. In particular we are using sonic interaction design and potentials of sound interfaces to

develop new interaction paradigm applicable to various contextual systems such as computer

games, smart housing, education and urban playful environments. It combines several art and design

works based on sound interactions: Interactive Installations Vrroom and Before & Beyond, In-Visible

Island and recently started set of In-Visible Sculptures where sound interactions and combined with

magnetic frictions as artistic medium.


Sonic interactions experience is designed upon relationship between objects, actions, and sounds

and as such should be considered as important element in studies which are directed toward sonic

interaction design research. We are proposing usage of sonic metaphors to give a new meaning to

these relationship, enrich user experience toward more synesthetic, memorable and meaningful.


Sonic Metaphors

You Might Be Able To Marry A Robot By 2050

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By Shannon Ullman – February 21, 2017 – Your Tango.

sex robot


Robots are the future… in more than one way.

Single people: everything is going to be OK. If you’ve given up on ever finding someone and have vowed to be alone with your cats until the end of time, you may want to reconsider.

With technology taking over pretty much everything these days, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that it may take over our love lives, too. I mean, sex robots are kind of a thing and virtual porn is heading towards a market takeover. It won’t be long before the robots who fill our sexual desires start to satisfy our emotional desires, too.

At a recent “Love And Sex With Robots” conference (it’s a real thing… seriously) at the University of London, David Levy, expert and author of a book on love between humans and robots, predicated that sex robot marriages would be legal by 2050. The director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, Adrian Cheok, said that the prediction seems pretty valid.

During his speech at the conference, Cheok was quoted as saying, “That might seem outrageous because it’s only 35 years away. But 35 years ago people thought homosexual marriage was outrageous… Until the 1970s, some states didn’t allow white and black people to marry each other. Society does progress and change very rapidly.”

I’ve got to say, the man makes a pretty good point. In fact, Cheok is full of logical wisdom and just listening to his point of view makes the whole robot-human marriage sound rather lovely.

He goes on to argue that marrying robots could make huge improvements to society as many human-to-human marriages are unhappy or end up in divorce. He also argues that while society assumes that everyone has the ability to meet someone, fall in love, get married and live happily ever after, this is simply not the case for a huge part of the population.




When comparing a bad marriage to a human or a marriage to a robot, Cheok believes that the robot relationship is a much better option.

While there are still massive yet doable improvements to be made to sexrobots, the biggest challenge for making them lovable is the skill of conversation. By making robots look like they love you and, more importantly, make you FEEL like they love you, you are going to feel that same kind of connection as you would get with human love.

Humans are capable of loving pets and fictional characters, which is why Cheok believes that falling in love with robots is not a big stretch. Cheok offers up some pretty convincing arguments, but there are two sides to every story and others are not so convinced that human and robot marriages will be successful.

Professor at The University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland, Oliver Bendal, argues that love and sex robots will have no moral standing. He believes that the whole contract of marriage involves duties that robots can’t actually perform, such as taking care of the children. However, he somehow still believes that this marriage option can become legal by 2050, simply because of public pressures.

With the possibility of the government taking action against this kind of marriage, the professor thinks that anything could happen and that we should prepare ourselves for any outcome.

Falling in love and marrying a robot — the pro and con lists for this topic are both long. What do you think? Would marrying a robot ever seem appealing to you?



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By Emma Yann Zhang , Adrian David Cheok



This research looks into sharing intimacy and emotion in digital communication

through mediated physical interactions, kissing in particular. It aims to extend our

sense of touch by creating an interactive kissing machine that produces dynamic haptic

force feedback and other sensory stimuli to transmit realistic kissing sensations

over a telecommunication network. The research takes a novel approach to affective

communication by constructing a mathematical model of kissing, including the forces,

dynamics and bilateral control of the forces to enable remote kissing in a communication



A multimodal interactive system for remote kissing interaction is developed. The

kissing device is designed as an attachment device for mobile phones, allowing users

to kiss each other remotely while having a video chat using their mobile phones. It

measures and transmits real-time lip pressure over the Internet. The device consists

of force sensors that measure the the contact force between the lip surface of the

device and the user’s lips, as well as a linear actuator array to produce accurate force

feedback and lip movements during user interaction. A bilateral force controller is

used such that both users feel the reflections of their own lip forces as well as the

forces from each other. The system also engages the sense of smell by emitting body

scents or pheromones from the device.


The system provides a new communication channel for people to share intimacy

and affection through remote physical interaction. It engages a wide spectrum of our

sensory modalities, including touch and smell, thereby increasing the sense of telepresence

and allowing for deep emotional exchanges. While face-to-face interaction is

not always available in this increasingly globalised society, this system also offers an

effective and intuitive way for parents and grandparents to communicate with young

children who have limited language abilities, as well as with people with physical disabilities

or communication disorders. The outcome of this research could also make a

great impact in the area of robotics and artificial intelligence. The digitisation of kissing

provides exciting opportunities for human-robot relationships or even robot-robot

relationships. Robots will be able to possess emotional intelligence and learn to understand

the emotional meaning and pleasure of kissing, hence establishing intimate

and humanistic relationships.



Moody Hoody

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By Nurafiqah Johari, Halimahtuss Saadiah, Kasun Karunanayaka, Adrian David Cheok



Moody Hoody is a hoody that can emit fragrance from the device inside it. It is a combination between fashion and technology. We mounted a Scentee Module inside the vest section of the hoody to emit a scented vapor on demand by pressing a button that located in the pocket of the Hoody. When you press the button, you can see vapor emitting from the vest of the Hoody through the Scentee Module. Scentee is the world’s first phone attachment that produce scent on demand by using an app (smart phone).

The main objective of this project is to lift the mood/spirit of the person who wears hoody and the people surround as the scent vapor is coming out from the hoody. Previous studies shows that certain fragrances can influence people’s mood and emotions. From the applications side this hoodie can be used for aroma therapy. Further, when you want to attract someone, you can wear the hoodie with a nice scent that can make people feels good when they are near to you. The colors of the hoody and its inner lining was specifically chosen to create some form of Mood for the person who wears the Hoody.

In the future, we plan to make moody hoody a whole lot slimmer, attaching an array of much flatter Scentees. All the wiring will be replaced with conductive threads. We also want to make the hoody connect through Bluetooth to the Smart Phone, so the person who wears the Hoody can always activate the release of the scented vapor through the smart phone. We hope that it will be able bring the clothing industry to a totally different level and become a very profitable marketable product in the “not so distant future”.


Moody Hoody


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Schools are meant to prepare learners for the future outside of school. Current developments

in AI, machine learning and robotics suggests a future of fully shared social spaces, including

learning environments (LEs), with robotic personalities. Today’s learners (as well as teachers)

should be prepared for such a future. AI in Education (AIED) has focused on implementation

of online and screen-based Pedagogical Agents (PAs); however, research findings support

richer learning experiences with embodied PAs, hence, recent studies in AIED have focused

on robot as peers, teaching assistants or as instructional materials. Their classroom uses

employ gamification approaches and are mostly based on a one-robot- one-student interaction

style whereas current educational demands support collaborative approaches to learning.

Robots as instructors are novel, considered a major challenge due to the requirements for

good teaching, including the demands for agency, affective capabilities and classroom control

which machines are believed to be incapable of. Current technological capabilities suggest a

future with full-fledged robot teachers teaching actual classroom subjects, hence, we

implement a robot teacher with capabilities for agency, social interaction and classroom

control within a collaborative learning scenario involving multiple human learners and the

teaching of basic Chemistry in line with current focus on STEM areas. We consider the PI

pedagogical approach an adequate technique for implementing robotic teaching based on its

design with inherent support for instructional scaffolding, learner control, conceptual

understanding and learning by teaching. We are exploring these features in addition to the

agentic capabilities of the robot and the effects on learner agency as well as improved

learning in terms of engagement, learner control and social learning. In the future, we will

focus on other key concepts in learning (e.g. assessment), other types of learners (e.g.

learners with cognitive/physical disabilities), interaction styles and LEs. We will also explore

and cross-community approaches that leverage on integration of sibling communities.



Magnetic Table

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By Nur Ellyza Binti Abd Rahman*, Azhri Azhar*, Murtadha Bazli , Kevin Bielawski , Kasun Karunanayaka, Adrian David Cheok




In our daily life, we use the basic five senses to see, touch, hear, taste and smell. By utilizing some of

these senses concurrently, multisensory interfaces create immersive and playful experiences, and as a

result, it is becoming a popular topic in the academic research. Virtual Food Court (Kjartan Nordbo,

et. al.,2015), Meta Cookie (Takuji Narumi, et. al.,2010) and Co-dining (Jun Wei, et. al., 2012)

represent few interesting prior works in the field. Michel et al. (2015) revealed that dynamic changes

of the weight of the cutleries, influence the user perception and enjoyment of the food. The heavier

the weight of the utensils, would enhance the flavour. In line with that, we present a new multisensory

dining interface, called ‘Magnetic Dining Table and Magnetic Foods’.


‘Magnetic Dining Table and Magnetic Foods’ introduces new human-food interaction experiences by

controlling utensils and food on the table such as modify weight, levitate, move, rotate and

dynamically change the shapes (only for food). The proposed system is divided into two parts;

controlling part and controlled part. The controlling part consist of three components that are 1)

Dining Table, 2) Array of electromagnet and 3) Controller circuit and controlled part consist of two

components; 1) Magnetic Utensils and 2) Magnetic Foods. An array of electromagnet will be placed

underneath the table and the controller circuit will control the field that produce by each of the

electromagnet and indirectly will control the utensils and food on the table. For making an edible

magnetic food, ferromagnetic materials like iron, and iron oxides (Alexis Little, 2016) will be used.

We expect that this interface will modify taste and smell sensations, food consumption behaviours,

and human-food interaction experiences positively.


Magnetic Dining Table and Magnetic Foods

Using mobiles to smell: How technology is giving us our senses | The New Economy Videos

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By The New Economy – February 11th, 2014

The New Economy interviews Professor Adrian Cheok of City University London to find out about a new technology that will allow people to taste and smell through their mobile phones

Scientists are coming increasingly closer to developing technology that will allow us to use all our senses on the internet. Professor Adrian Cheok, City University London, explains how mobile phones will soon allow people to taste and smell, what the commercial benefits of this technology might be, and just how much it’s going to cost

The online world: it’s all about the visual and sound experience, but with three other senses, it can leave us short. Studies have demonstrated that more than half of human communication is non-verbal, so scientists are working on ways to communicate taste, touch, and smell over the internet. I’ve come to the City University London to meet Professor Adrian Cheok, who’s at the forefront of augmented reality, with new technology that will allow you to taste and smell through a mobile phone.

The New Economy: Adrian, this sounds completely unbelievable. Have you really found a way to transmit taste and smells via a mobile device?

Adrian Cheok: Yes, in our laboratory research we’ve been making devices which can connect electrical and digital signals to your tongue, as well as your nose. So for example, for taste we’ve created a device which you put on your tongue, and it has electrodes. What those do is artificially excite your taste receptors. So certain electrical signals will excite the receptors, and that will produce artificial taste sensations in your brain. So you will be able to experience, for example, salty, sweet, sour, bitter – the basic tastes on your tongue – without any chemicals.

And with smell we’re going in a couple of tracks. One is using chemicals, it’s a device that you can attach to your mobile phone, and these devices will emit chemicals. So that means that with apps and software on your phone, you can send someone a smell message. For example, you might get a message on Facebook, and it can send the smell of a flower. Or if your friend’s not in a very good mood it might be a bitter smell.

So the next stage of that is, we’re making devices which will have electrical and magnetic signals being transmitted to your olfactory bulb, which is behind your nose. It’ll be a device which you put in the back of your mouth, it will have magnetic coils, and similar to the electrical taste actuation, it will excite the olfactory bulb using electrical currents. And then this will produce an artificial smell sensation in your brain.

Already scientists have been able to connect optical fibre to neurons of mice, and that means that we can connect electrical signals to neurons.

With the rate of change, for example with Moore’s Law, you get exponential increase in technology. I think within our lifetimes we’re going to see direct brain interface. So in fact what you will get is essentially, you can connect all these signals directly to your brain, and then you will be able to experience a virtual reality without any of these external devices. But essentially connecting to the neural sensors of your brain. And of course that also connects to the internet. So essentially what we will have is direct internet connection to our brain. And I think that will be something we will see in our lifetime.

The New Economy: So direct brain interface – that sounds kind of dangerous. I mean, could there be any side-effects?

Adrian Cheok: Well we’re still at the very early stages now. So scientists could connect, for example, one optical fibre to the neuron of a mouse. And so what it has shown is that we can actually connect the biological world of brains to the digital world, which is computers.

Of course, this is still at an extremely early stage now. You know, the bio-engineers can connect one single neuron, so, we’re not anywhere near that level where we can actually connect to humans. You would have to deal with a lot of ethical and also privacy, social issues, risk issues.

Now if you have a virus on your computer, the worst it can do is cause your computer to crash. But you know, you could imagine a worst case: someone could reprogram your brain. So we’d have to think very carefully.

The New Economy: Well why is it important to offer smell over the internet?

Adrian Cheok: Fundamentally, smell and taste are the only two senses which are directly connected to the limbic system of the brain. And the limbic system of the brain is the part of the brain responsible for emotion and memory. So it is true that smell and taste can directly and subconsciously trigger your emotion, trigger your memory.

Now that we’re in the internet age, where more and more of our communication is through the internet, through the digital world, that we must bring those different senses – touch, taste and smell – to the internet; so that we can have a much more emotional sense of presence.

The New Economy: What will this be used for?

Adrian Cheok: Like all media, people want to recreate the real world. When cinema came out, people were filming, you know, scenes of city streets. To be able to capture that on film was quite amazing. But as the media developed, then it became a new kind of expression. And I believe it will be the same for the taste and smell media. Now that it’s introduced, at first people will just want to recreate smell at a distance. So for example, you want to send someone the smell of flowers, so Valentine’s Day for example, maybe you can’t meet your lover or your friend, but you can send the virtual roses, and the virtual smell of the roses to his or her mobile phone.

At the next stage it will lead to, I think, new kinds of creation. For example, music before; if you wanted to play music, you needed to play with an instrument, like a violin or a guitar. But now the young people can compose music completely digitally. Even there’s applications on your mobile phone, you can compose music with your finger, and it’s really professional. Similarly, that will be for smell and taste. We’ll go beyond just recreating the real world to making new kinds of creation.

The New Economy: So will it also have a commercial use?

Adrian Cheok: For advertising, because smell is a way to trigger emotions and memory subconsciously. Now, you can shut your eyes, and you can block your ears, but it’s very rare that you ever block your nose, because you can’t breathe properly! So people don’t block their nose, and that means advertising can always be channelled to your nose. And also we can directly trigger memory or an emotion. That’s very powerful.

We received interest from one of the major food manufacturers, and we’re having a meeting again soon. They make frozen food, and the difficulty to sell frozen food is, you can’t smell it. You just see these boxes in the freezer, but because it’s frozen, there’s no smell. But they want to have our devices so that when you pick up the frozen food maybe it’s like a lasagne, well you can have a really nice smell of what it would be.

The New Economy: How expensive will this be?

Adrian Cheok: We’re aiming to make devices which are going to be cheap. Because I think only by being very cheap can you make mass-market devices. So our current device, actually to manufacturer it, it’s only a few dollars.

The New Economy: Adrian, thank you.

Adrian Cheok: Thank you very much.


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