Japan’s National Institute of Informatics has developed an open-source simulator that can perform tests of intelligent robots coexisting with human beings called SIGVerse. The human-robot interaction simulator, which NII claims is a world’s first, can involve verbal communication between multiple agents as well as non-verbal communication such as eye contact. Users can program a virtual robot in C++ and modify the virtual environment to suit a variety of situations. A sample application (not included with the software) showed a human cooking okonomiyaki with a robot’s help. Robots in SIGVerse are affected by physics and can be equipped with virtual cameras allowing you to see what the robot sees. The software is also expected to help visualize insect biology and social behaviors. The idea for the simulator came about from the friendship of science fiction author Hideaki Sena (Parasite Eve) and anime writer Kei Sakurai (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex).