Ameca the Humanoid Robot has the Most Amazing Facial Expressions

The company Engineered Arts built a robot that pushes the limits of human mimicry just a little further than we are used to. Ameca is a human-sized robot with a gray androgynous face, but that face has 17 individual motors underneath the skin to control what the face looks like. Ameca can make pretty much any facial expression you might want. The face and body movement express the goal of imitating a human, but the company wisely stepped back from a complete human look, in order to avoid the uncanny valley effect. They want us to be comfortable talking to a robot, instead of feeling like someone is trying to fool us with this fake human. Claire Reilly got a chance to interview Ameca and her creators from Engineered Arts at CES 2022.

The whole purpose of this robot is to mimic a human, so it wouldn't be much good at replacing someone in a factory job, for instance. But it does offer promise in communication, interaction, and entertainment. The technology that produced Ameca could do a world of good for Disney's Hall of Presidents, but then we'd be right back into that uncanny valley. Read more about Ameca at CNET. 

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A video of Ameca "waking up" - watch as the humanoid robot blinks in surprise as it wakes up from a slumber.

Images from the cameras in Ameca's eyes are processed so the robot's gaze can follow the movement of the person's finger. Watch how the humanoid robot acts when things enter its "personal space" and touch its nose.

Ameca's grey skin seems to have solved the Uncanny Valley as humans seem to accept it more readily than its counterpart, a pink-skinned Mesmer robot head called Adran.


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