Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Truth About Robots And The Uncanny Valley: Analysis

Japan's government sponsored research laboratory, AIST, unveils the humanoid robot "HRP-4C," which has 42 actuators and several sensors on its body. (Photo by Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

From Popular Mechanics:

An oft-cited theory in robotics, the uncanny valley, refers to that point along the chart of robot–human likeness where a robot looks and acts nearly—but not exactly—like a human. This subtle imperfection, the theory states, causes people's feelings toward robots to veer from fondness to revulsion. Here, contributing editor Erik Sofge argues that the theory is so loosely backed it is nearly useless for roboticists. For an in-depth look at the human–robot relationship, check out PM's feature story "Can Robots Be Trusted?" on stands now.

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