Affetto. The super Japanese robot baby
What your eyes see is the face of Affetto, a new child robot platform.
Created by Hisashi Ishihara, Yuichiro Yoshikawa, and Prof. Minoru Asada of Osaka University in Japan, Affetto has the ability to make realistic facial expressions, allowing humans to interact with it (why would you want to?) in a more natural (oxymoron?) manner.
The spawn of Prof. Asada’s JST ERATO Asada Project, Affetto is the result of advances in “cognitive developmental robotics,” an area of robotics determined to to understand human intelligence using robots.
Affetto, modeled after a one- to two-year-old child , will be utilized to study early stages of human social development. Earlier attempts to do so have failed due to the lack of a realistic child-like appearance and incorrect facial expressions. This has led to to robot caregivers not attending to the robot in a natural way. The last sentence seems so odd, but yes there do exist robot caregivers attempting to interact with robots in natural ways.
Desire to see how Affetto can interact with caregivers? Check out this video:
Did the video scare you at all? Are you frightened by some of the advances in robotics, such as Affetto and his future companions?