Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

See this disembodied robot head make amazingly lifelike faces

Hello new nightmare fuel! Updated child android boy Affetto smiles and looks surprised thanks to advanced facial robotics.

Bonnie Burton profile photo
Bonnie Burton profile photo
Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
2 min read
Enlarge Image

This child android can express a variety of human emotions. 

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Robots have been creeping us out a lot lately. Whether they're flirting with celebrities; pleading for their lives; or dancing on stage; they're busy trying to mimic humans -- with varied results.

Once you see the latest iteration of the child android head named Affetto in action, you might have even more trouble getting to sleep at night worrying about the future robot uprising.

In the video below, Affetto cycles through states including happy, confused, scared, angry, sleepy and curious. 

Researchers at Japan's Osaka University have been improving the facial movements on their android child so the second-generation bot can show greater ranges of emotion that will in turn enable deeper interactions with humans.

Mimicking natural human facial movements in robots isn't easy. 

"Surface deformations are a key issue in controlling android faces," researcher Minoru Asada said in a statement. "Movements of their soft facial skin create instability, and this is a big hardware problem we grapple with. We sought a better way to measure and control it."

The researchers investigated 116 different facial points on the child robot to measure movements that would best convey complex human emotions. The researchers reported their findings in the journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI in October.

The creepy but cute robot's lips move, his eyelids blink and his eyeballs even move from side to side, making him look slightly shifty. He also has a lifelike tongue that's visible when he opens his mouth wide. Nope, not terrifying at all. 

Affetto's advanced robotics is an excellent example of the uncanny valley that references the narrowing divide between humans and their increasingly realistic-looking humanoid counterparts. 

Luckily, this guy doesn't make sounds yet, so as horrifying as he looks when he's angry, at least he's not threatening murder.

Sony's new Aibo is the robot dog companion we've been waiting for

See all photos

CNET's Gift Guide: The best place to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list this season.

Best Black Friday 2018 deals: The best discounts we've found so far.