(Keith Wagstaff) I’ve written about a lot of creepy robots in my day but this one might be the creepiest. It is an anthropomimetic robot which, apparently, means it “imitates not just the human form, but also the biological structures and functions that enable and constrain perception and action.”
In other words, it’s got lots of synthetic human parts like bones, muscles and tendons. Its name is ECCEROBOT (short for Embodied Cognition in a Compliantly Engineered Robot) and it’s being developed by Owen Holland at the University of Sussex.
The idea of biomimetic robots is not new — scientists have been building robots based on animals like fish and birds for a while now. The audacity of this project is try to mimic the internal structures of an animal — in this case, us — all in pursuit of an even more audacious and absurd goal: artificial intelligence.
As human beings, our physical interactions with the world informs our mental interactions. That is to say, you can’t separate the mind and body into totally separate spheres. So it makes sense that if you want to create advanced artificial intelligence, you also need to factor in an advanced artificial body.
Luckily for us, right now ECCEROBOT is only capable of minor interactions like shaking hands and staring at people with its creepy giant eye.