I’ll preface this by saying that most people know pretty much the last thing I want in my life is a two-year-old — I already have one of the feline variety and he’s enough. Nor would I want one that is ever-staring, sports a super-creepy Casper-deathmask-visage, and is robotic so therefore capable of having a program go haywire and decide that “mommy must die”. Still, I’m intrigued by Pink Tentacle’s post about the CB2 Baby Humanoid Robot, snip:
On June 1, researchers from Osaka University’s Graduate School of Engineering unveiled a robot that acts like a human infant, which they hope may one day help scientists better understand the child development process.
The 130 cm long, 33 kg robot features 56 air cylinders that serve as muscles. With cameras for eyes and microphones for ears, and with 197 tactile sensors embedded in the layer of soft silicone skin covering its entire body, CB2 is well-equipped to take in environmental stimuli. When CB2’s shoulders are tapped, it blinks as if surprised, stops moving, and turns its gaze toward the person who touched it, and when a toy is dangled in front of its eyes, it appears to devote all its energy to trying to reach for it. CB2 also has a set of artificial vocal chords that it uses to speak baby talk.
The researchers say that once CB2 is equipped with software that gives it the ability to learn, they will be very interested in undertaking the long-term challenge of teaching it how to walk and talk.
Robot looks like it needs an expresso. On the subject of learning there is quite an interesting new scientist article this month on how they learn language skills.