If you're trying to make your educational robot sound non-threatening, giving it the name of a 1980s cartoon villain may not be the best idea. But that's what the creators of Zeno have gone and done. The 27in robot is Hanson Robotics' latest creation, building on years of research, but is he the future of human-machine interaction?
Zeno uses Frubber, Hanson Robotics’ own robo-skin, to mimic human expressions. Just like the 600 series Terminators, we can't help but notice. It doesn’t go much beyond mouth movements and blinking, but has potential. His eyes contain two HD cameras allowing him to recognise and remember you – and his body is capable of 37 degrees of movement meaning he can express himself easily.
And express himself he can – Zeno's kitted out with an advanced AI that allows for conversations (much like Google Now’s efforts) and can apparently show compassion and deliver educational curricula.
At the moment Zeno is an early stage model that is worth US$16,750 (£10,780) but Hanson Robotics hopes to mass-produce a more advanced version for teaching, helping learning difficulties children, and even assisting at universities. He and his sister Alice will both be available later this year with cheaper cousins on their way for 2013. Check out his video below where his talk of being in every home is far less scary than it sounds.
You may also like