Diego-San Is One Creepy Robot Baby

By Brent McKnight | 8 years ago

We would like to apologize in advance for the horrific nightmares this next video will give you. If you would rather not watch the creepy, emotionally dead face of a robot child as it cries silently, and you want to sleep through the night, you should probably skip what’s next because that’s exactly what it is. This video features the first footage of the University of California San Diego’s Machine Perception Lab’s spooky new robot baby, named Diego-san, in action. The results are terrifying. Watch for yourself below.

Diego-san is supposed to represent a one-year-old child, at least proportionally, because the actual robot stands at four feet, three inches, and weighs in at 66 pounds. In order to create those freakishly life-like expressions, there are 27 moving parts in Diego-san’s head. Watching his little robot face twist into manifestations of sadness, joy, anger, and all the rest is sure to create a weird feeling in your stomach. At once you have the visceral response to facial cues, but know at the same time that what you’re seeing isn’t real. That’s a strange sensation indeed. While Diego’s face is the main focus of this video, his body also contains 44 pneumatic joints.

Here’s where Diego-san gets really nuts. He has high-def cameras for eyes, which allow him to observe the gestures and expressions of people around him. It then takes that data and, “through the use of an AI modeled on human babies, it can ‘learn’ from people in the same way that real baby does.” It watches you, observes your reactions, and freaking learns. That’s intense. The scientists behind the project are calling it a huge step in “emotionally relevant robotics.” Doesn’t this sound like we’re one step closer to getting Haley Joel Osment from A.I.?