Over at BBC, mathematician Marcus du Sautoy has examined what he’s calling the world’s first anthropomimetic robot--a robot that mimics in extremely high anatomical detail the movements and construction of the human body. The robot, named ECCEROBOT, possesses artificial analogs of human bones, muscles, and tendons that endow it with human-like motions and--perhaps someday--will imbue it with human-like intelligence.
Captured for a BBC show titled “Horizon: The Hunt for AI” (it airs tonight at 9 p.m., for any of our across-the-pond readers who may be interested), ECCEROBOT--for Embodied Cognition in a Compliantly Engineered Robot--serves three purposes. The first, of course, is to prove out the creation of a truly anthropomimetic robot. The second: figure out how to control it. But thirdly (and most interestingly), ECCEROBOT serves to explore how having a human-like physical form could influence human-like cognitive features.
In other words, the University of Sussex researchers working with ECCEROBOT posit that without an artificial body, artificial intelligence cannot really exist--the brain controls the body, but the physical body also informs brain. In the brief teaser clip posted at BBC, we can see that the researchers have made ample progress toward completing objectives one and two. As for the third, we naturally still have a long way to go. We’ve embedded an older, brief intro to ECCEROBOT below, but click through to BBC for the latest on this anthropomimetic endeavor.