This robot head, which is supposed to represent a 1- to 2-year-old child, is meant to help researchers study caregiver-child interactions. It is not meant to make you run screaming from a room.
Hisashi Ishihara, Yuichiro Yoshikawa, and Prof. Minoru Asada of Osaka University in Japan have been working on robots to study cognitive development. They say it's hard for humans to interact with robots in a natural way, so they wanted to create a robot that can mimic the facial expressions of a real kid.
Asada's team came up with Affetto, which can produce a wide range of facial expressions by moving actuators in its face. It can look inquisitive, happy, surprised, upset and more, by tilting its eyebrows, moving its jaw, panning its eyes and tilting its head. Its eyeballs are equipped with cameras and it has microphones and tactile sensors embedded in its silicone skin, lending it a pretty realistic appearance.
Affetto is part of a project to develop a full-bodied robot that's as similar to a human being as possible, reports IEEE.
Maybe Japanese hospital patients will be less inclined to shun these 'bots. Or much, much more so inclined.
[via New Scientist]
The one thing I noticed was that the eyes darted around way too quickly. They need to move more subtly if they want to mimic humans: more slowly, less distance at a time, and some kind of easing acceleration instead of just shooting from one direction to another. Unless the baby is just constantly terrified of everything around him...
-IMP ;) :)
*runs screaming from the room*
As if babies weren't already scary enough! Terminator, meet Dead Silence!
It looks creepier than a normal robot. It would be better if they made them to look like Asimo, or those japanese robots for kids!
that is just creepy
The Japanese have an abnormal view compared to English speaking countries as to what is odd. No other country has tried to mimic human interactions in robots as much as Japan and other Asian countries or so it seems. I bring it up because Japanese society is so complex when it comes to interaction. So much so that it seems they have a specific custom for any daily interaction in their culture. Western civilization, Americans specifically, don't appreciate as a society what they have evolved throughout the centuries. That's not necessarily a bad thing. As off now none of the tech seems too impressive, though the future of it seems to have limitless possibilities, especially when combined with more functional tech.
I agree that the quickly shifting eyes made the robot seem paranoid...slow the eyes down, put some hair on the head and a body attached to the neck and it could be as pleasing looking and acting as the robot (which was a real boy) in the movie 'AI'. I would feel a little weird walking down the street with robot child like that though if people knew it was a robot; they would think I had a mental problem of some kind.
I think a robot child like that would be a big hit in a class room teaching children about the human body or how to attend to children of that age.
Once again Japan, you get 5 stars (*****).
Zombify it and sell it at Spencer's.
yikes. messing with the psychological spectrum. plus, how in the world would that change the fact that one still knows there are camera and gadgets underneath the SILICONE skin.
If you want it to look like a real child it is going to need a lot more mucus. Mucus from the eyes, mucus from the nose, and dribbly mucus from the mouth - then it will look sufficiently human.
Yup, that passes all of the scary tests there are, fit for a horror house on Halloween.