Robot Baby Simulates Real Infant, Stimulates Nightmares
Meet Noby, the most accurate robotic baby yet developed. I'd say "lifelike" but Noby's creepy enough as it is.
The robot weighs 17 pounds (7.9 kg), is 28 inches (71 cm) tall and is designed to emulate the responses of an actual 9-month-old human baby. Computer software will be used to approximate the typical brain functions of an infant.
Here's a short video of Noby in action, c/o the cool folks at 3yen who seem as traumatized by Noby as I am:
Noby - which I'm guessing is Japanese for "Chucky" - is covered with artificial skin packed with around 600 touch sensors. On his (her? its?) head are 2 cameras and 2 microphones... the better to see and hear you with, my pretty! Beneath the high-tech skin, jointed steel rods and servomotors allow Noby freedom of movement, just like a teeny tiny Terminator.
According to Yasuo Kuniyoshi, a University of Tokyo professor of informatics and a member of the team that developed Noby, the robotic baby "will help develop a deeper understanding of how infants and children learn to perceive sound and light."
Let's just hope Noby's software interprets OUR sounds and movements as friendly - and just to be sure, keep it away from anyone named Sarah Connor. (via Asahi Shimbun and The Sun UK)