CB2, Child-robot with Biomimetic Body, is slowly learning how to recognize facial expressions. He’s already taught himself how to walk by observing humans do it. Hopefully no one’s using a machete around this thing, else we’re all in really big trouble.
All joking aside, this is some interesting long-term research. I recall reading about similar “robot education” efforts more than a decade ago, whereby a robot “brain” was given raw stimuli and left to its own devices to try to learn. CB2 “brings together robotics engineers, brain specialists, psychologists and other experts, and is supported by the state-funded Japan Science and Technology Agency.” Such multi-disciplinary research efforts are tough to coordinate.
Here’s hoping that CB2 grows up to be a well-adjusted, productive member of robo-society.