Engineered Arts Unveils Creepily Realistic New Robot

Engineered Arts Unveils Creepily Realistic New Robot

UK robotics platform designer and manufacturer, Engineered Arts, has released the first look at its latest uncanny-valley-inducing model, the Ameca, a humanoid design with the most realistic facial expressions to date.

Unlike the company’s previous Mesmer model, Ameca lacks hair and skin, but makes up for it with startlingly accurate mimicry of its human creators.

The new model was designed in anticipation of next year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, as a robot platform which (wealthy) customers can purchase and add whatever AI programs they desire to make it more personable.

The promotional video — which has already clocked over two-million simultaneously transfixed and terrified viewers — sees Ameca rousing from its slumber, loosening its joints and surveying its surroundings.

Occasionally, Ameca blinks or presses its weary eyes closed, adding further biological authenticity to this humanoid mould of plastic and metal.

Ameca quickly notices the camera, displays shock, with some visual embarrassment and self-consciousness, before finally holding out its hand with a friendly (albeit, unsettling) smile.

Reactions on the YouTube video are surprisingly positive, with many lauding Engineered Arts for its most realistic platform yet. Some commented Ameca had successfully avoided any pre-conceived uncanny valley notions.

However, not all were as enthusiastic, with one user simply commenting: “I legitimately welcome our robot overlords.”

According to Engineered Arts’ website, Ameca is “the world’s most advanced human shaped robot representing the forefront of human-robotics technology.”

“The reason for making a robot that looks like a person is to interact with people. The human face is a very high bandwidth communication tool, and that’s why we built these expressive robots,” Engineered Arts founder, Will Jackson told Reuters.

“We’ve tried to be gender-neutral, race neutral. We’re just trying to make something that has the basic human characteristics — expression — without putting anything else on top of that. So, hence the grey faces. It’s really been 15 years in gestation.”

If you’re existential red flags are flapping then don’t worry; Ameca can’t even walk. While its creators continue figuring out how to make it ambulant, Ameca will remain an immobile platform for tech-savvy spendthrifts to add whatever software they desire.

One robot reportedly costs $US133,000 ($A185,548).




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