Robots

K-Bot Explores the Uncanny Valley

Posted 30 Aug 2003 at 15:22 UTC by steve Share This

Masahiro Mori's "Uncanny Valley" is an area in the evolution from robot to android where the robot's approval rating suddenly drops. People seem to accept things that look like machines or animals and things that look like humans. But a robot that looks almost human tends to scare people much as a walking corpse would. David Hanson contends that the Uncanny Valley is not uncrossable and set out to prove it by building K-bot, an exact robot dupicate of his girlfriend, Kristen Nelson. K-Bot is just a head so far. It has 24 servos that duplicate major muscles in the human face and it has CCD cameras behind its blue eyes. A new Popular Science article, The Man Who Mistook His Girlfriend For A Robot, tells the whole story of K-bot. For more info, see our previous K-Bot story. More photos of the current and prior versions of K-Bot can be found in David's humanoid portfolio.

The face that launched a thousand ships, posted 30 Aug 2003 at 19:08 UTC by motters » (Master)

Hanson's robot looks fine, but modelling a robot on your girlfriend can be a hazardous business. If the relationship goes sour you could be left stranded with an automated version of your ex. What a nightmare.

Seen it before but still a good article , posted 30 Aug 2003 at 20:52 UTC by Botnerd » (Master)

This is a good article because you dont hear of people building to many robotic heads but this same article was in popular science about two weeks ago.

a Chippy Girlfriend, posted 20 Nov 2003 at 01:16 UTC by Frank McNeill » (Apprentice)

Wouldn't it be more like "The face that launched a thousand chips," or has that one been done already?

Eeriness can be a matter of presentation, posted 25 Aug 2005 at 18:05 UTC by macdorman » (Observer)

Whether the K-bot appears eerie or not can be a matter of presentation. If the head is tastefully mounted on a female robot body, it is less likely to appear eerie than if it is presented as a head on a box or a head on a stake. Also, if wires and motors are hidden from view, it is also less likely to appear eerie.

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