I know the following about these images: they come from the November 2009 edition of Kokoro News (which is in Japanese). The guy in the picture is Dr. Javier Movellan, and the robot next to him is “Diego-San.” They’re from the Machine Perception Laboratory at UCSD. Since I can’t read Japanese, I don’t know what this robot is for or why on Earth it has a gigantic baby head. I also don’t know why these pictures were included in the article:
Look, we’ve been over this before… You don’t. Make. Robot. Babies. Humans are hardwired to respond in a particular way to other humans in general, but more specifically when it comes to babies, and we can instantly tell when something’s wrong and it’s like a punch to the gut. Like, it’s not just mildly creepy, it’s seriously #@$*%^ up.
I’m quite sure that Diego-San is an incredible robot doing incredible research, and hopefully we’ll get more details on that, but seriously now, whoever put that head on there needs to get out of the lab a little more.
If anyone cares to translate the article and let us all know what’s going on with this thing, there’s a PDF at the read link below.
[ Kokoro News (PDF) ]
[ UCSD Machine Perception Laboratory ]
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.