Image: Child-Robot with Biomimetic Body
Koji Ueda  /  AP
The Child-Robot with Biomimetic Body, or CB2, looks at Shuhei Ikemoto, an Osaka University student, when its hand is clasped by him during a demonstration of the toddler robot at a lab of the university in Osaka, western Japan.
updated 6/8/2007 12:41:38 PM ET 2007-06-08T16:41:38

A group of scientists in Japan have developed a robot that acts like a toddler to better understand child development.

The Child-Robot with Biomimetic Body, or CB2, was developed by a team of researchers at Osaka University in western Japan and is designed to move just like a real child between 1 and 3 years old.

CB2, at just over 4 feet tall and weighing 73 pounds, changes facial expressions and can rock back and forth.

The robot's movements are smooth as it is fitted with 56 actuators in lieu of muscle. It has 197 sensors for touch, small cameras working as eyes, and an audio sensor. CB2 can also speak using an artificial vocal cord.

When it stands on its feet, the robot wobbles like a child who is learning how to walk.

Minoru Asada, a professor at Osaka University who leads the project, said Friday the robot was developed to learn more about child development.

"Our goal is to study human recognition development such as how the child learns a language, recognizes objects and learns to communicate with his father and mother," he said.

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