Google patents customizable robot personalities

Newly-patented system would allow users to download the personality of a celebrity or a deceased loved one to a robot.

Google has been granted a patent that would allow the company to develop downloadable personalities for robots drawn from the cloud, such as your favorite celebrity or even a deceased loved one.


“The robot personality may also be modifiable within a base personality construct (i.e., a default-persona) to provide states or moods representing transitory conditions of happiness, fear, surprise, perplexion (e.g., the Woody Allen robot), thoughtfulness, derision (e.g., the Rodney Dangerfield robot), and so forth,” the filing reveals.

Just as you would download an app, Google’s patent details how a user could download various actions and personalities. The robot would use information from a person’s mobile devices, such as calendar information, emails, texts messages, call logs, web browsing history and TV viewing schedule, to determine a personality to take on that would suit the user. Beyond that, friends will even be able to clone their robots and exchange aspects of its personality.

“The personality and state may be shared with other robots so as to clone this robot within another device or devices. In this manner, a user may travel to another city, and download within a robot in that city (another ‘skin’) the personality and state matching the user’s ‘home location’ robot. The robot personality thereby becomes transportable or transferable,” the document continues.

Google also outlines a number of examples where the robot can learn human behavior and adapt accordingly, whether that’s knowing a user is grumpy when it’s raining outside, in need of coffee before heading off to work, or even being unable to consume particular meals due to food allergies.

“For example, the user may be allergic to mangos and may update a user-profile to include such information. Simultaneously, a robot may update the user-profile to include that the user is also allergic to peanuts. When the dining fare is French cooking, the robot may be queued to adopt the persona of Julia Child.”

Based on the information in its user-profile, the robot can even adopt a butler persona and offer up suggestions. Meanwhile, users can interact with the robot and tell it if it has done something wrong, as well as be programmed to provide a desired look.

Robots that mimic humans are still very much in their infancy, and truthfully there’s no telling where this technology can go — especially when backed by giants like Google. And while there’s no guarantee that this patent will ever come to fruition, it may very well be the next step in making human-robot relationship a reality. Intrigued? You can read the entire patent filing here.

2 thoughts on “Google patents customizable robot personalities

  1. Pingback: IoT Embedded Blog Review – Week of Apr 5, 2015 • JB Systems Tech

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