ECCEROBOT is an anthropomimetic robot under development by a consortium of European roboticists. Their focus is to create robotics that accurately mimic the internal structure - the internal mechanisms - of human beings.
At the present time, they are limited to using thermoplastic polymer for bones, screwdriver motors and shock cord for muscle, and kiteline for tendons. Take a look at this brief explanatory video.
"...With its compliant, human-like hand it can easily grasp and handle objects. Furthermore, with this handshake ECCE is able to interact with humans and with its environment in an inherently safe way."
I'm fascinated by the idea of robots that try to mimic human structure. As sf readers know, the word "robot" has not always referred to metallic creations. In fact, the earliest use of the term "robot" was actually referring to something that we would call "android" today (in Capek's R.U.R.).
I like the ECCEROBOT because it summons up ideas that are more similar to what Philip K. Dick uses in some of his stories, blurring the line between mechanical and android forms. At some point, the ECCEROBOT researchers will be able to use materials that are much closer to human bone and sinew - which gets them closer to building an android from scratch.
Just imagine how you would feel doing an autopsy on a next-generation ECCEROBOT. Maybe just like agents J and K in the 1997 movie Men in Black.
The Arquillian ambassador is riding in what amounts to a humanoid vehicle; it has the external appearance of a person, and the interior is human-like in structure, but artificial in nature.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/13/2009)