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The Uncanny Valley Is Strong With This One

AIST opened the doors of their lab for a couple of days (October 14th ~ 15th) to show off their robotics development and middleware.  On display was the Actroid-F, developed by Kokoro Co. Ltd. and ATR.  The operator’s facial expressions and head movements are tracked and replicated by the robot.  The android is being positioned as an observer in hospitals to gauge patient reactions.  However, despite the advances made in the last few years such as reducing the cost by a third by eliminating redundant actuators, it can’t escape the uncanny valley.  The jerky head movements are particularly unnerving, but not to worry; its legs don’t actually work, so it can’t get up and chase you.

Video (Mirror):

Also on hand were AIST’s Rapuda, a wheelchair equipped with a robotic arm, and the old standby HRP-2 Promet.  It was tightening nuts and bolts using a new manipulator, but the focus was on the software.  Delicate manipulation tasks are some of the most difficult to reproduce, and a team is working on simplifying the process.  Images and videos can be found at the source link below.

[source: RoboTimes (JP)]