Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro makes robots in Osaka. His latest robot, Ibuki, is one for the nightmare catalog: It’s a robotic 10-year-old boy that can move on little tank treads and has a soft rubbery face and hands.
The robot has complete vision routes that can scan for faces and it has a sort of half-track system for moving around. It has “involuntary” motions like blinking and little head bobs but is little more than a proof-of-concept right now, especially considering its weird robo-skull is transparent.
“An Intelligent Robot Infrastructure is an interaction-based infrastructure. By interacting with robots, people can establish nonverbal communications with the artificial systems. That is, the purpose of a robot is to exist as a partner and to have valuable interactions with people,” wrote Ishiguro. “Our objective is to develop technologies for the new generation information infrastructures based on Computer Vision, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.”
Ishiguro is a roboticist who plays on the borders of humanity. He made a literal copy of himself in 2010. His current robots are even more realistic, and Ibuki’s questing face and delicate hands are really very cool. That said, expect those soft rubber hands to one day close around your throat when the robots rise up to take back what is theirs. Good luck, humans!