This Humanoid Robot May Have Cracked “The Uncanny Valley”
by Ashley Dreiling
The team of designers and roboticists at Engineered Arts are trying to crack the “uncanny valley” – that hypothetical relation between an object’s degree of resemblance to a human being and the creepy emotional response to said object. Enter Mesmer, Engineered Art’s latest humanoid robot that focuses less on human visual characteristics, and more on their dynamic movements and interactions.
Mesmer exhibits realistic human movements, including facial expressions, eye-focus, and reactions to outside stimuli. The robot also has hyper realistic skin with detailed finger wrinkles, and 45 different facial skin features, such as creases on its forehead mouth, even manually-inserted facial hair!
As Will Jackson, founder and CEO of Engineered Arts, puts it, robots can never look and act fully human, but they’re working on making them close, one painstaking element at a time.