A robot called James, has been taught to recognise people waiting to be served a drink at a bar as part of a EU-funded project to create more socially-intelligent robots.
The researchers at Bielefeld University in Germany used a bar because the interaction was limited but complex enough to pose significant technical demands on the robot.
Professor Jan de Ruiter said the research also shed light on the most effective way to get served at a crowded bar.
Pictures courtesy fortiss GmbH
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday 19 September 2013.