Oh boy, I can't resist this one!
A group of scientists in Japan have developed a humanoid that acts like a toddler to better understand child development.
The Child-Robot with Biomimetic Body, or CB2, was developed by a team of researchers at Osaka University in western Japan and is designed to move just like a real child aged between one and three years old.
CB2, 4.3 feet tall and weighing 73 pounds, changes facial expressions and crawls on the floor.
The robot's movements are smooth fitted with 56 actuators in lieu of muscle. It has 197 sensors for touch, small cameras working as eyes, and an audio sensor.
CB2 can also speak using an artificial vocal cord.
When it stands on its feet, the robot wobbles like a child who is learning how to walk.
Minoru Asada, a professor at Osaka University who leads the project, said the robot was developed to learn more about child development.
"Our goal is to study human recognition development such as how the child learns a language, recognizes objects and learns to communicate with his father and mother," he said.
Be afraid, people. Very afraid.
I wonder several things about this story:
- Aren't there any toddlers in Japan that they can study? It seems to be a lot of work to go through to study toddler behavior. First you have to study toddlers well enough to be able to duplicate their behavior, then you need to observe toddlers enough to tell if the robot is accurate. It just seems a bit superfluous to me.
- What does a robo-temper tantrum look like?
- Is the robot really picky about what kind of battery you use? My kids never ate anything at that age.
- When will this become a sit-com? I think it should include Bob Saget.
- Were the Olsen twins really bionic? It would explain a lot of things.
- What is the robot-equivalent of potty training.
- Will this child get immunized against viruses and spyware?
Clearly this is a dark day in the history of mankind. We are working to duplicate a toddler's behavior. What's next, robo-slug?