Meeting Ameca, the future of humanoid robots, was totally surreal
Meeting Ameca, the future of humanoid robots, was totally surreal
8:58

Meeting Ameca, the future of humanoid robots, was totally surreal

Tech Industry
Speaker 1: You might have seen a video doing the rounds of a gray robot that looks ultra lifelike. Is it real? Is it fake? Well at CES 2022 AICA, the robot was on show. And let me tell you the experience of interviewing this robot was very uncanny. So Morgan, tell me, you've got AICA there next to you. This is a very lifelike robot. Why would you design a robot that looks so human? Speaker 2: Yeah. Well, [00:00:30] the main use case for humanoid robot right now is for entertainment is the communication and is for interaction with other people. AICA is the pinnacle of what we can do it. It's still not exactly like a human, but we didn't want to make it look exactly like a human. We wanted to make it look like a robot. Uh, it's the vision of what humans see humanoid robots in the future. We've seen all of the films. They all look like this, seen all murder him. [00:01:00] So we something around what we see, we visit robots, human eye robots to be in Speaker 1: The future. And how do you create those really human expressions? I mean, looking at AICA, responding to you, there's little movements of eyebrows. If you can call them eyebrows, how did you actually build the robot to look so human with those expression? Speaker 2: What we do is we first look at a real human it's what we call animation first. So [00:01:30] what does a real human do? Um, how do they move? And then we take that animation and we design mechanics around it. So the mechanics can only do what a human can do. Yeah. See, she waxed me once we've got that, then it's quite easy to automate those expressions because whatever the mechanics do looks lifelike. So a Hass got quite a few motors in, in its head. Um, but we can see Aika going through some facial [00:02:00] expressions now opening her mouth a big wide smile. L is one of the things that, that we want Amica to do. So, um, big, big smile, Amica, ah, lovely, very thoughtful. Speaker 1: Where would we kind of see this, this robot AICA out in the wild? Uh, Speaker 2: This is mainly probably service robotics. So the actual Interac with humans, um, moving around in a human space. Um, [00:02:30] that's gonna come in the future where I'm talking probably 10 years before you actually gonna see something like this walking amongst us, Speaker 1: Are you expecting in say 10, 20 years from now that we could see AICA robots? What walking, running, dancing, climbing, are they gonna start looking like Boston dynamics, robots that can run across a field at speed? I'm I'm asking and also almost afraid of the answer here. Speaker 2: So this is why we created the artificial body and the artificial body [00:03:00] is a humanlike form that everyone can relate to and everyone can interact with without having to look through a user manual. Speaker 1: So what kind of level of artificial intelligence have you baked in in terms of, uh, the communication capabilities and AICA standing and, uh, responding, even speaking to you? So Speaker 2: There's some artificial intelligence and most of the artificial intelligence at the minute that is on AICA is growing around [00:03:30] the vision system. So AICA does actually have a camera in each of its eyes, so it can see what's going on. Um, so it can of detect people. Um, it can track their face. Um, it can detect other objects such as my finger. It can follow my finger around, um, I can wave at it. Um, and then it can always see it move backwards. Then Speaker 1: What did you kind of think of the, uh, the Internet's response to AICA? Speaker 2: It's the emotion and how it moved, [00:04:00] the emotion that you get out the face suddenly that sparked something in, um, social media universe. And we were incredibly surprised that overnight it became a sensation. We got 24 million views on one Twitter, uh, Twitter post, and, um, Elon Musk even comment on that post. So, uh, incredible response. And we're at CES right now. This is the first time this has been shown off in public. Um, [00:04:30] and we're expected to be very busy showing off a, Speaker 1: Uh, how do you think humans respond to something when it's a bit them, but it's still got that uncanny element. Speaker 2: What we found was when you try and make it look ultra likely to our other MEMA line, it looks a bit more sinister cuz it's right in the uncanning valley. But actually when we created Amica, we, we pulled it backwards out of the uncanny [00:05:00] valley because it looks less human because it's plastic because it's metal. Um, and because it's of gray skin, it suddenly, hello. People seem to respond to that quite positively. And people like this much more than they liked the, uh, the ultra realistic robots that we, Speaker 1: When you're demoing AICA. What are some of your favorite things to do to kind of show the, um, the power of that interaction and just how impressive those lifelike [00:05:30] features are? Yeah. So Speaker 2: As, as we've demonstrated the, um, reacting to personal space, but we can also talk to ACA so I can say hello. Aika how are you? Speaker 1: I am doing well, thank you. Speaker 2: We can, we've created AICA. So it's more lifelike than any other robot. The shoulder movements are just like human movements. You have movements in the center as well as out of the shoulder. [00:06:00] And that actually means that instead of hitting me a can, can move a hand all the way up to the side of her head. Speaker 1: I'm interested to know, um, maybe how, how the robot is finding Vegas or CES. Speaker 2: How are you finding Las Vegas and CES? Speaker 3: Well, as a robot, I actually don't hear anything at all, but if I did feel, I would feel happy to be Speaker 1: Here. [00:06:30] Do you see a robot like this becoming, uh, an accepted part of our lives? Do you see it maybe being something I might ask a question of a at the airport or would I have an AICA robot in my home helping me out? Speaker 2: So most of the, the, the use cases for this will be the interaction. So yes, in the airport, that's a, a great use case, uh, because you can either have many, many humans or you can have many humans and many robots, and you can have that interaction in this same way. Having it in your home is [00:07:00] probably not something that's going to happen in the near future. A robot like this is can do many tasks, just like a human, but there are other robots that you can get that will do those tasks, uh, a lot better because they're designed for of, and a lot cheaper and you can get them today. So why would you buy a humanoid robot that will probably cost more than your house, maybe in the future, maybe in 50 years time, but I'm [00:07:30] gonna say right now, I don't think you'll have one of these in your home, in the next decade. Speaker 1: What does it feel like to work on something that's had such a huge response and to, to be at that, at that bleeding edge of robotics, is it something you, you tell your mates down in the pub that you're working on a robot that could one day, uh, be the future of the future of society in robotics? Speaker 2: It's, it's a fantastic thing to do. It's a fantastic, uh, technology to be a part of developing and I, I, up over the next 10 [00:08:00] years, we can continue innovating and continue to spark people's imagination and continue with this, this, uh, this social media sensation. So everyone actually then knows who Amica is. Speaker 3: Thank you for the interview Speaker 1: Time. All right. Tell me what you think about AICA the robot totally freaked out, or is it really, really cool? Let me know in the comments below and while you're here, make sure you subscribe. We have plenty, more [00:08:30] weird and wonderful tech just like this. Well, maybe you're not just like this. Speaker 3: You are walking and you don't only realize it. You're always falling with each step. You fall forward slightly, and then yourself from falling over and over, you're falling and then catching yourself from falling. And this is how you can be walking and falling at the same time.

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