Friday, 27th July 2012
In Japan Entertainment News,
Osaka researchers make progress with robotic baby
Researchers at Osaka University have made progress in the creation of a robotic baby set to help them draw conclusions on human development.
Affetto has come a long way in just 18 months when he began as a mere face, having recently sprouted a torso and arms so he can give you a real hug, as reported by theverge.com.
Video footage of the robot depicts him skinless and without clothes, but as the seconds pass, his mobility is illustrated through arm movements and "skin" is added to his face while he dons a grey hoodie.
Apparently the improvements made to Affetto are largely down to the installation of 20 pneumatic actuators, which enable him to swing his arms, rotate his neck and move his spine.
The laboratory's Japanese-language website explained the reasoning behind the project, which uses "cognitive development robotics" to determine the relationship between caregivers and growing babies.
Theverge.com quoted it as saying: "Interacting with the environment and people nearby is an important factor in development.
"In order to create the same conditions as with a real child, we're developing a child robot that's the same size, with a soft body, rich facial expressions, and small hands."
Video footage of the robot can be found on YouTube, although those hoping to view it should be aware it might be slightly creepy to see this mechanical-baby in full motion!
Although he looks quite cute when he has his facial skin and clothes on, the sight of the robot with half a face of skin and metal nuts and bolts, as well as wires, can make him seem more like an eerie toy.
Osaka University, also known as Handia, is the sixth oldest establishment of its kind in Japan, founded in 1724.
Noble Laureate in physics Hideki Yukawa is one of its many prominent figures.
Posted by Susan Ballion
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