Japan’s Noby Baby-Bot and Human Learning: Some New Light
Posted on July 9, 2010
Noby, whose name is abbreviated from “9-month-old baby,” is a baby robot created by researchers, which was designed to simulate infant behavior. Its purpose is to test theories of human development and come to a better understanding of how we grow up.
“You can load your software into the robot, watch how it reacts to human actions and its surroundings, and compare it with the behavior of real children,” said Tokyo University professor Yasuo Kuniyoshi, who led development of Noby with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.
Noby’s urethane skin is very soft and flexible and its joints move like those of a human baby. The bot is 28 inches tall and weighs 17 pounds, which is similar to that of a human 9-month-old child.
Noby can feel things around him with the help of 600 sensors across its body. Cameras and microphones that are fitted into its head permit the baby bot to see and hear.
Japan is a nation obsessed with robots and their interaction with human kind. Noby represents just one of the many humanoids created by Minoru Asada, robotics engineering professor at Osaka University and funded by the government’s Science and Technology Agency.
The same project that unveiled Noby has also developed two other bots. One is the five year-old humanoid known as the “M3-Kindy” whose name derives from “man-made man,” and “kindy” for kindergarten. The other is the M3 Neony, which simulates a newborn baby.
Asada’s team is adopting a new approach to getting to know humans by studying their various functions at different stages of life.
Will we ever understand the exact mechanism that sparks the human growth process?
It would seem that that remains to be seen.
Still, pretty scary for us humans.
What if all this research uncovers that somehow, some way, we came from THEM?
Put that in your pipe but don’t smoke it.
What do YOU think about this?