I’m what? A robot? … Cool! … Uh, maybe not.” Diego-san demonstrating different facial expressions, using 27 moving parts in the head alone.
UCSD, San Diego, has introduced Diego-san, a new humanoid robot who mimicks the expressions of a one-year-old child. Demonstrated at CES and in a video, the robot will be used in studies on sensory-motor and social development — how babies “learn” to control their bodies and to interact with other people.
Diego-san’s hardware was developed by two leading robot manufacturers: the head by Hanson Robotics and the body by Japan’s Kokoro Co. The project is led by University of California, San Diego full research scientist Javier Movellan.
Movellan directs the Institute for Neural Computation’s Machine Perception Laboratory, based in the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). The Diego-san project is also a joint collaboration with the Early Play and Development Laboratory of professor Dan Messinger at the University of Miami, and with professor Emo Todorov’s Movement Control Laboratory at the University of Washington.
Movellan and his colleagues are developing the software that allows Diego-san to learn to control his body and to learn to interact with people.