Furkhat bows his head, smiles, pleases with sympathy and warmth and encourages us to open up.
The robot, a three-dimensional bust with a projection of the face of human features, resorts to familiar acquisitions recently acquired with the help of voice assistants, such as Siri and Alex, to encourage us to interact with him, as if he were the person who collects our signals to achieve a good understanding.
However, precisely because he is not human and, therefore, has no prejudice, the robot can encourage people to participate more sincerely, according to its creator, which makes it useful in situations where people often lie, for example, during medical examinations.
“We have seen studies that show that in certain situations, people feel more comfortable opening and talking about difficult problems with a robot than with a person,” said Samer Al Mubayd, CEO of Furhat Robotics.
This is because the identity of the robot can reflect the identity of the person who interacts with it, and also because people do not feel judged, he added.
The robot was used at Frankfurt Airport as a polyglot concierge to help travelers find their way, as well as to train customer service, for example, by imitating Irish buyers.
The science and technology firm Merck and Furhat Robotics presented a robot in Stockholm on Wednesday that would ask people about their health and lifestyle and evaluate them for the risk of diabetes, alcoholism and hypothyroidism. If necessary, the robot will recommend you to undergo a blood test or consult a doctor.
“Every robot needs a different personality depending on the work he is going to do,” said Mubayd. Furhat can be masculine or feminine, old or young, funny or serious.