G.I.A. (Gestural Interactive Automation) wants to be your robot friend. Created by Daniel Jay Bertner, his GIA robot sculpture is anchored to a wall and tracks you as you move by using motion tracking software, interacts with you by using facial recognition software and projects a video image of a human face on a sphere that responds with facial expressions.
Like something out of a David Cronenberg film, GIA isn't the first attempt at creating a robot intended to push the emotional relationship between man and machine. Back in 2010 there was Nao, which modeled the first years of life and "can form bonds with the people he meets." Then there's anything by Hanson Robotics and a number of other attempts to have robots mimic human behavior and musculature (see slideshow of creepy robots below).
As for GIA, the creature-like bot tracks its audience around the room and appears to be watching and following movements from its perch. Meanwhile, the projected facial video can change expression based on gestures or reactions it picks up from the audience. What kind of expressions GIA is capable of aren't detailed, but we can imagine a scowl in response to an angry gesture, or a smile resulting from a friendly wave.
Imagine for a moment the facial recognition and responsiveness of GIA combined with ECCEROBOT, which was developed with artificial joints, tendons and bones mimicking that of a human, and allowing for complex movements.
Not long now until little robotic "David" Fassbenders are running around and starring in commercials.
Meet Jules, the newest and most realistic humanoid robot yet from David Hanson and the team at Hanson Robotics.
A robot that looks just like its creator (www.newscientist.com).
Engineers at Kagawa University in Japan are developing a talking robotic version of the human mouth: To enable the robot's speaking abilities, engineers at Japan's Kagawa University used an air pump, artificial vocal chords, a resonance tube, a nasal cavity, and a microphone attached to a sound analyzer as substitutes for human vocal organs.
ACTROID-F in AIST Open Lab 2010.
Robot modeled after Albert Einstein. Einstein mimics the facial expressions he detects in others. Smile at him, and he'll smile back.
Cybernetic human dance demo in DCEXPO, 2010.
Humanoid face created by Hanson Robotics (www.hansonrobotics.com). Robotics scientists at Hanson previously created animatronic puppets for Disney studios.
Animatronic baby mechanism for anonymous TV series. Built by Chris Clarke for CNFX Workshop.
Taiwanese Kissing Robots (NTUST Robot) were exhibited in AutoRob2009 in Gwangju, Korea. They were developed by Prof. Chyi-Yeu Lin's research team in National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.
Robot girl with silicone skin.