Japanese Child Robot With Biomimetic Body Learns Social Skills
Meet CB2, aka, Child-Robot with Biomimetic Body. He is watching your every facial expression, interpreting, assimilating. You touch him tenderly while you smile; he assimilates the combined expressions. He's a two-year old robot and he's doing almost everything a two-year-old child does.
CB2's inventor (or should I say Dad?), professor Minoru Asada, says that now his 4'4", 73-pound robot is learning basic social skills. He says that the robot is recording emotional expressions using eye-cameras. Then CB2 memorizes and matches those expressions with physical sensations, and then he clusters them on his circuit boards.
CB2 lives at a laboratory in Osaka University, and is being financed by the state: the Japan Science and Technology Agency. In his first 2 years, CB2 has learned to walk on his own, using 51 "muscles" driven by air pressure. He breathes too.
The next goal for CB2 is that the robot-child will be speaking basic sentences like that of a 2-year old child. (CB2 will be four, but he's an experiment, after all.)
Asada says that soon humanoids will develop learning abilities somewhere between those of a human and those of a chimpanzee . By 2050, Asada wants a robotic team of soccer players to compete in the World Cup championship.