Robotics is an exponentially growing field — but that doesn't mean its creations are all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, we're pretty sure some of them want to steal our souls.
The Telenoid R1 was created as a telepresence bot — one that was specifically designed to make your long-distance communications more personal by sticking a human face on it. We think it, um, still has a ways to go.
Caption byMichelle Starr / Photo by Osaka University and ATR Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratory
The robotic "patients" used in Sydney Royal North Shore Hospital's training programs are great; it means medical staff members aren't practising on a live patient. But that doesn't mean they're not as creepy as heck.
We can appreciate that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has a need for something that can carry a lot of weight over difficult terrain; but does it really have to move so much like something out of Silent Hill?
Diego-san has a purpose: helping researchers learn about human cognitive development. But watching his frubber face run through a gamut of expressions while attached to a robo-skeleton makes it look like they've just stuck a baby's head on a heap of metal. Also, the thought of robots with feelings? Noooo. What if they decide their feelings are that they hate us?
Much like hospital training, several universities in Japan are using a robot to help train dental students. Showa Hanako can move and react like a real dental patient, coughing, squirming, even choking. The strangest part, though, is that she was designed with the help of Orient Industry — a manufacturer of "love dolls".