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Yikes! Diego the robot baby wants some love

Javier Movellan of UC San Diego is working on a pint-size robot that looks like a human baby. Yes, it's creepy, but science is being served.

Javier Movellan of UC San Diego's Machine Perception Laboratory poses with robo-baby Diego, who doesn't look too happy about it. Kokoro

The pics may beggar belief, but apparently another robot baby is in the works.

Just when you'd almost forgotten Osaka University's infamous and creepy Child-robot with Biomimetic Body, or CB2, researchers in the U.S. are preparing to unleash an almost equally terrifying robo-babe: Diego.

These images from a newsletter (PDF) published by Japanese android maker Kokoro (creator of fembot Actroid) show UC San Diego professor Javier Movellan and others with the cyber-tot.


Though it looks like someone has photoshopped a doll's head into the pics, apparently Movellan really is working on a humanoid based on a 1-year-old baby. Kokoro seems to have supplied robotic know-how to the project, and Movellan has visited the firm's plant in Tokyo.

According to the Kokoro article, which includes an interview with Movellan, little Diego is just over 4 feet tall and weighs 66 pounds. It's about 1.5 times the size of a human baby.

Diego was created to study how human infants learn, grow, and interact with the world. It cannot speak, but it can gesture and perform facial expressions.

It has about 60 moving parts, about 20 of which are in its face, allowing for a wide spectrum of expression--greater than that of Actroid. It can also can get up from a chair and grasp objects such as plastic bottles.

Baby Diego also sports high-resolution eye cameras, ear sensors that can detect movement, and a speaker in its mouth. Pressure sensors can detect the load on its joints.

Female researchers are handling the planning of Diego, the article notes, adding that the way it hugs people is very lifelike.

No word yet on who will change its diapers if it ever gets any. Human baby clothes (and most certainly hats) don't fit Diego.

(Via BotJunkie)