'Care' robots on campus for Open Day


La Trobe University has welcomed the arrival this week of some new friends direct from Japan, just in time for the Bundoora campus Open Day on Sunday August 30.

Jackson and Matilda are the ‘cream of the crop’ when it comes to the latest in robot communications direct from NEC Japan, and while they stand around the height of your average vacuum cleaner these machines definitely don’t suck.

A personal welcome from Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Tim Brown was in store for these pint sized VIP’s who are Open Day guests of honour.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Brown:

It is my great pleasure today to welcome Matilda and Jackson, who have deceptively Australian names, from Japan.


Jackson and Matilda will be in Melbourne for 3 months at La Trobe’s Research Centre for Computers, Communication and Social Innovation.

It is a joint project with NEC cooperation of Japan, where Jackson and Matilda were born. They are robots with emotional faculties- and the researchers goal is to develop their skills, so they can work in health care and other human centred industries.

Dr Rajiv Khosla:

We want to use these ICT’s for enhancing people to people communication skills, with the macrovision of wellbeing and sustainability of human society.


So while they may be cute, you still need to be careful of hurting these little guys’ feelings. A whack on the head will make it think it’s been scolded, but if you give it a rub then you might have just have a new friend for life.