Robot Baby Diego-San Shows Its Expressive Face on Video

Watch the first footage ever released of this humanoid baby built at UCSD

2 min read
Robot Baby Diego-San Shows Its Expressive Face on Video

Diego-san robot baby

His name is Diego-san. He was born at UCSD. He's a baby robot. We had seen photos of him before, and we knew researchers were working hard to get it moving and doing other things that babies do. Now, for the first time, Diego-san shows off its face on video.

Researchers at UCSD's Machine Perception Laboratory, led by professor Javier Movellan, developed Diego-san to study cognitive and social development in infants. The humanoid robot is modeled after a 1-year-old baby, with its body built by Japanese animatronic company Kokoro and its head created by U.S. firm Hanson Robotics, specialized in ultra-realistichumanoid robots.

The head is large to accommodate all the hardware that powers its expressive face, including 18 electric RC servos, which can make the robot display emotions such as happiness, anger, or surprise.

Diego-san weighs 30 kg (66 lb) and is over 1.2 m (4 ft) tall. It's equipped with two cameras, two microphones, inertial measurement units, 38 potentiometers, and 88 pressure sensors. Its body has 44 pneumatic actuators, powered by an an external air compressor.

With head and body combined, Diego-san has a total of 62 degrees of freedom, which is one of the biggest DOF numbers I've ever seen in a humanoid robot. The UCSD team is now working on the robot's software. The goal is to allow the humanoid to learn how to control its own body and interact with people.

Personally, I think that Diego-san looks really cool and not creepy at all. But I know most people would disagree. The robot ranks No. 1 in the creepiest robots ranking of IEEE Spectrum's Robots for iPad app (see screenshot below). What do you think? Cute or creepy?

Robots for iPad app

Via [ Gizmag ]

Photo: Andrew Oh/Javier Movellan/Calit2

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
Horizontal
A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof
DarkGray

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

Keep Reading ↓Show less