Robot has Lifelike Facial Expressions

We’ve written before about engineers’ attempts to make robots (specifically, rescue robots) less creepy. Now some roboticists in Italy are developing a robotic bust that can mimic human facial expressions in order to help cross the “uncanny valley”— the principle that robots that look kind-of human, but not quite, can make people feel very uncomfortable. Continue reading

Robot Walks With Human Gait

Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed an advanced set of robotic legs that mimic a natural human gait using load sensors in the feet. The legs, about half the size of an adult’s legs, are what the team describes as the “first to mimic walking in a biologically accurate, energy efficient manner,” according to an article from the AFP. Continue reading

Engineering Kinder, Gentler Rescue Robots

Rescue robots provide a lifeline to disaster victims trapped in tight spaces, but these rugged robots can sometimes seem intimidating, annoying, or even a little creepy to the people they are supposed to help. Researchers at Stanford University and Texas A&M are investigating ways to make these robots more user friendly.

In other words, says Robin Murphy, director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue of Texas A&M, they want to eliminate the “creep factor”:

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