Awww, eerie CB2 child-bot is growing up

Since the creepy-looking Japanese bot first terrified the blogosphere in 2007, it has resurfaced as a more advanced creature.

If a child ever had skin as ashen as this kid, it would end up in the emergency room. Fortunately, this is not a real tyke, but a "Child Robot With Biomimetic Body" (CB2 for short) that's meant to mimic its living counterparts and teach lessons about child development.

The kid-bot, which comes to us from a team at Japan's Osaka University, is equipped with 51 air-powered motors and 197 tactile sensors under the soft, light gray silicone skin covering its body.

CB2 measures about 4 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 73 pounds, which size-wise would put it in the third or fourth grade. However, it was designed to function as a 1- to 2-year-old.

Since the eerie-looking bot first terrified the blogosphere in 2007, it has resurfaced as a more advanced creature.

Its creators report that CB2 is slowly developing social skills by recording human's facial expressions via eye cameras, matching them with physical sensations, and then clustering them into basic categories (sad, happy, etc.) on its circuit boards. It also can reportedly move across a room "quite smoothly"--with some assistance. Osaka University engineering professor Minoru Asada, who is heading up the team behind CB2, says he hopes the pint-size android will be speak in basic sentences within about two years.

We're all for robots teaching transferrable lessons about mother-baby relationships. But sheesh, Japan, can you at least dress your next baby-bot in a cute onesie or something? Watch the Breitbart TV footage below to see CB2 rolling around on a table, making odd noises, and otherwise acting like a giant baby-bot with a face only Wes Craven could love.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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