A U.K.-based company Engineered Arts has developed a humanoid robot that can display human-like expressions with ease. In a short video released on YouTube, the company shows off its most advanced humanoid, dubbed Ameca, which is initially a platform for testing robotic technologies.
With new developments in artificial intelligence, machines are learning to not only do human tasks but also go further beyond. However, for humans and machines to work together more fluidly, machines need to occupy the same space and humanoids are the best platforms to do this. Researchers have been working to make humanoids more interactive by teaching them non-verbal communication and Ameca is quite a milestone in this area.
As is seen in the video above, the humanoid appears to have woken up in a robotic laboratory while an actual human is busy working in the background. The robot moves its arms, shows a flurry of expressions in a matter of seconds, and even expresses amazement at how its hands and fingers move fluidly before looking at the camera quite surprised. The teaser is a sufficient demonstration of what the robot can do when it comes to the upper half of the body.
Its lower half though is quite non-functional at the moment. For a humanoid robot, Ameca still can't walk, the Engineered Arts website says. Even though the company has carried out research on this, it hasn't transferred the learnings to the robot yet. However, walking, jumping, or doing parkour isn't what Ameca is aimed at. Its builders rightly call it the Future Face of Robotics.
Ameca is powered by Engineered Arts' Tritium operating system that allows companies engaged in the development of robotics to test their technologies. Whether it is artificial intelligence or machine learning technology that companies or startups are developing, they can test and even demonstrate their tech in front of a live audience using Ameca. According to its website, Engineered Arts can even rent out Ameca for expos or live TV discussions.
Returning back to its inability to walk, Engineered Arts uses a modular architecture for its building its robots. So, upgrades to both, software and hardware components can be made without having to purchase a new robot altogether. So, sooner or later, Ameca will walk too.
Ameca will be on display at the CES 2022, scheduled in January 2022.