Invasion of the Robot Babies
Did you notice there's been a proliferation of robot infants, robot toddlers, and robot children in the past few years? It seems that roboticists enjoy becoming parents to bionic babies.
They build them for a good reason: These bots help researchers not only learn more about robotics but also investigate human cognition, language acquisition, and motor development. Some Japanese researchers even say robot babies could help introduce young people to the wonders of parenthood and boost birth rates. Yes, robot babies help make real babies!
So check out our reality matrix below, where we rated each robot according to its similarity to humans and its technical capabilities. What's the coolest? Cutest? Creepiest? And did we forget any? Let us know.
Clockwise from top left: Aldebaran Robotics; Thomas Bregardis/AFP/Getty Images; RobotCub; Kokoro; Erico Guizzo; Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images; University of Tsukuba; Tony Gutierrez/AP Photo; Sankei/Getty Images; Georgia Institute of Technology; Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images; University of Bonn; Erico Guizzo
Blog Post: A child humanoid robot called iCub is helping Swiss scientists study cognition, learning, and mobility
Blog Post: An operator wearing a sensor suit can control this robot's arm and leg movements
Blog Post: Geminoid F, a robot copy of a woman in her twenties, is designed with natural facial expressions
Blog Post: To design the androids of the future, we shouldn't fear the uncanny valley