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Koreans develop smelly, blushing penguin-droid

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Government boffins in Korea have perfected a cutting-edge robot which is able to give off smells as part of a panoply of human-style interaction technologies. Apparently the aroma interface kit is now ready for commercialisation.

The revelations come courtesy of the Korea Times, which reported on "Pomi" (Penguin rObot for Multimodal Interaction) last Friday. Pomi can waggle its eyebrows, and has a simulated heartbeat. But the killer app is Pomi's other means of expressing itself: it can "emit smells", as AFP notes.

Needless to say, You Tube vid is available - though sadly in Korean.

(You'll need Flash and suitable firewall privileges to see it.)

As far as we can make out, Pomi can also express emotion by blushing, using red lights in its cheeks. Which would obviously be useful in the event of any inopportune mishap involving the smell-cast fragrance communications system. We also like the roguish robot wink.

The Korean gov-boffins who developed Pomi reckon its tech could become widespread. The Korea Times quotes them as saying:

"Technologies of emotional expressions and user-interactive functions used in Pomi will contribute to the upgrading of robotic companions, and also to the manufacturing of more intelligent service robots".

The paper names Samsung as the lucky company which will bring Pomi to market. ®

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