Every child's dream of having a conversation with a Lego robot is now a possibility.
A project between Canterbury University and Japan's Osaka University's created The Robot Engine - animation technology enabling a robot to interact with people.
Working with New Zealand's HIT Lab, they've created a conversation function for the robot, allowing it to follow a script and talk to humans.
If the robot's thrown a curve ball, it can use an online database to answer off-script questions.
It's believed the new technology will continue to advance robot interaction projects.
It will be presented at an international symposium later this year.
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