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Creepily realistic Japanese robot can move, make facial expressions and sing all on its own

  • 18
  • 08
  • 2016

Japanese scientists have unveiled a creepily realistic humanoid robot which has complete control over its limb and facial movements. The robot, known as “Alter,” uses electronic sensors that mimic the network of a human brain.

His arms, head and facial expressions are controlled by the sensors, giving the robot random patterns of movement similar to those made by real humans. Alter can also “sing” by converting the random movement of its fingers into an ominous melody.

The humanoid robot "Alter"

(Koji Sasahara/AP)
What makes Alter particularly unsettling is the fact that only part of its hands and face are covered with silicon to look similar to skin, while most mechanical components are left exposed so that people can marvel at its complex movements.

Alter’s motions are set by 42 pneumatic actuators and a “central pattern generator, a network that replicates neurons. These can detect proximity, temperature and (weirdly) humidity.

"Alter," a humanoid robot

(Yasuhiro Takami/AP)
While Alter’s jerky motions don’t quite look human yet, there’s definitely something slightly unsettling about a robot that can “think” for itself.

Alter was unveiled to the public at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo on July 29.

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