Facebook is considering building 'emotionally sensitive' robots that can explore the world, identify objects and people and enable users to make friends remotely.
On-board sensors would allow the robots to spot people to engage with, judge their emotional state and listen to what they are saying, a patent filing revealed.
At the same time, the robot could display images, video and speak with people — potentially letting users meet people and make new friends remotely.
However, it is not known whether Facebook will follow through on the patent filing and make the rough robot designs a reality.
The concept for the social robots was outlined in a European patent filed by the social media firm on May 16, 2019.
Each machine, about the height of an adult, would be equipped with cameras and other sensors.
These would let them scan and interpret the faces and body language of people they encounter to assess their 'likely emotional state'.