July 27, 2012 at 1:59 PM ET
A robot baby being built as part of a neuroscience research program in Japan has just gotten a torso, including arms that flop around like an infant’s sans swaddle.
Affeto, the robo-baby, is creepy in its realism, which is what the team from Osaka University aims to accomplish as they use robotics to study “how humans’ higher cognitive functions develop,” according to a project description.
Ultimately, the robot will be used in behavioral experiments. For now, the researchers are trying to “build a realistic child robot with a muscle-skeletal system.”
The torso’s flexibility comes from 22 pneumatic actuators in its body.
In the video below you can see that Affeto’s torso is approaching the realistic stage. At one point, it hits itself in the face with “babyish looseness,” Endgadget notes.
The robot’s face has the thousand-mile stare of a well satiated or exhausted infant, but that may be because the team has yet to pair the torso with the robotic head, which was demonstrated in Feb. 2011.
— via Engadget