Monday, April 06, 2009

When We're Enslaved in the Future, This Will Be Why

Is it me, or are Japanese robots getting creepier and creepier?

This Powder-like apparation with the "I'm going to kill you in your sleep" eyes is named CB2, aka "Child Robot with Biomimetic Body", which to me would be CRBB - but then I guess a kid-bot named CRaBB isn't very appealing. And if it's being created by the Japanese, why would it have an English name? Will it have blond hair too? Be proud of your heritage, Eido-ans! Dammit.

Anyway. So Cree-pio here (cue: star wars reference) is yet another learning bot, specifically designed to think like a human infant and read facial expressions, reacting accordingly. It also has "197 film-like pressure sensors under its light grey rubbery skin, (and) can also recognise human touch, such as stroking of its head".

"The robot can record emotional expressions using eye-cameras, then memorise and match them with physical sensations, and cluster them on its circuit boards, said creator Minoru Asada.

The professor, also a member of the Japanese Society of Baby Science, said his team has made progress on other fronts since first presenting CB2 to the world in 2007.

In the two years since then, he said, CB2 has taught itself how to walk with the aid of a human and can now move its body through a room quite smoothly, using 51 "muscles" driven by air pressure."

So: it walks, it can read your facial expression, and react accordingly. Now...I might be off base here...but this looks uncannily like a child version of:
Am I wrong? Well? Remember I said this, when you're tossed out a high-rise window in the near future! On your way down you'll be thinking "oh shit...he was riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight*splat*"

Why do we keep making robots LOOK more human? I don't want a doppleganger roaming around! Let my robot look like a monkey. Or an alien. Or...I dunno...a goddamn ROBOT! Do you seriously think I want to come home, wasted out of my gourd from a night's drinking with the boys, and see THIS creepy boy-bot sitting in a chair waiting around for me because my bratty kid didn't tuck it away in his toybox?

"You're home late, Dave..."

Hey, boy-toy. I got an facial expression you can read, right'ere!

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