Meet Zeno. He’s a boy robot. He’s also creepy looking, in my opinion. You may think so, too. There’s a reason for that, one that John “Big Poppa Pump” Biggs discussed some time ago. For whatever reason, people sorta “freak out” when they see objects that couldn’t possibly be real, yet look damn close to it. Take this kid, for example: there’s something vaguely unsettling about him.
Zeno came about to bridge the gap between Rosie the “that’s totally a robot” Robot and sorta-real-but-not “freak-you-out” robots. (I’d say Zeno is a dead ringer for Astro Boy, but that’s neither here nor there.) It—he?—is the product of a $1.5 million grant and five years of work. And, if you happen to be in Los Angeles this week, you can check out the little guy in person at the NextFest conference. I guess from an engineering perspective it’s pretty impressive, but it still seems a little odd to me.