The term "uncanny valley," which refers to the revulsion that humans feel when they see a humanoid robot, has lately been a topic of heated discussion among design engineers, who are increasingly building robots that walk and talk.
More than ever, engineers need to consider the effects on humans as their machines begin to creep into our territory. "If you're going to make your robot human-like, then you've got to make it really, really human," said Tim Root, founder and chief technology officer of VGo Communications Inc., a robot manufacturer, in a recent interview with Design News. "If you miss that, your form factor will be rejected."
Looking at the following slides, it's easy to see how robots are evolving, not only in their ability to do human tasks, but in their appearance. Whether or not they're starting to give us the creeps is another matter, one that varies from person to person.
Click on the image below to start viewing the 16-image slideshow. When you're done, tell us what you think in the comments section below.
Heather Knight, a roboticist and founder of Marilyn Monrobots, is trying to bridge the uncanny valley by adding humor to the robotic repertoire. Her robot, Data, can do imitations of Darth Vader, R2D2, and Buzz Lightyear. (Photo courtesy of Freescale Semiconductor.)
How much of this is related the familiarity of the human subject with the robot? People can get used to a lot given some time.
I think there was a Twilight Zone episode to the effect. A man wrongfully imprisoned I think on an asteroid was given a female robot companion. When he had to leave she could not go with him and he was distraught, etc.
I wonder how much of the uncanny valley disappears over time once a greater familiarity is experienced by the humans.
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
Many of the materials in this slideshow are resins or elastomers, plus reinforced materials, styrenics, and PLA masterbatches. Applications range from automotive and aerospace to industrial, consumer electronics and wearables, consumer goods, medical and healthcare, as well as sporting goods, and materials for protecting food and beverages.
While many larger companies are still reluctant to rely on wireless networks to transmit important information in industrial settings, there is an increasing acceptance rate of the newer, more robust wireless options that are now available.
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