iCub Robot Now Even More Childlike

iCub is a small, robotic child. It recently got some new upgrades, in particular, smaller hands that are much closer to those used by actual three year-olds.


(New, improved iCub)

I am a humanoid robot, my name is iCub.I am able to crawl on all fours and sit up. My hands have many joints and I am learning to manipulate objects very skillfully (like a man-cub). My head and eyes are fully articulated and I can direct my attention to things that I like. I can also listen with my ears and feel with my fingertips and I have a sense of balance. At the moment I can do simple things but my human friends are teaching me and my brothers something new every day (we are becoming an international family!).

iCub is part of the AMARSi (Adaptive Modular Architecture for Rich Motor Skills) project, a 7 million euro project funded by the European Union. Their interdisciplinary research will include:

  • development of compliant mechanics, control architectures for dynamical and learning systems
  • analysis and comparison between human motor control and robotics
  • focus on damage-robust, safe, fast and flexible motion with compliant mechanics and morphological computation
  • advancing algorithms for unsupervised, reinforcement and imitation learning
  • use of dynamical and neural models to implement control architectures at higher and lower cognitive levels
  • unified framework for locomotion and manipulation behaviour
Science fiction fans remember this performance of a robot child portrayed by Haley Joel Osment in Steven Spielberg's AI (from Brian Aldiss' excellent 1969 short story Super-Toys Last All Summer Long). His excellent performance demonstrates how creepy it is for a robot to be human.


(AI movie robot boy)

Time will tell just how human the iCub can be.

Read more at the ARARSi homepage.

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