What could be cuter than robot babies! Without further ado, take a look at six different robot babies, more than a handful by anyone's definition. And don't miss sf writer Henry Slesar's 1958 description of a robotic baby brother; here's a sample:
"It is exhilarating to see my dream transformed into reality: a robot child that would be reared within the bosom of a human family, raised like a human child, a brother to a human child - growing, learning, becoming an adult. I can hardly contain my excitement at the possibilities I foresee!"
(From Henry Slesar's Brother Robot)
Update 16-Jun-2021: The earliest reference I know about to baby robots can be found in Life Everlasting, a gentle tale by Dr. David Keller, published in 1934:
The novelty spread like wildfire. Women discarded their pets and their fantastic dolls and put in their application for a robot baby. Factories were opened, thousands of men put to work. That was an odd thing. Every invention making the robot babies possible, every minute of work done on them in the factories was masculine.
Pneuborn-7II and Pneuborn-13, two infant-sized robots, are to be presented by Osaka University’s Hosoda Lab at ICRA 2011. Their pneumatic muscles are made of soft flexible materials, letting them gently interact with their environment.
"Getting a robot to act so pseudo-convincingly is largely due to the skills of the baby's, um, driver (?), who in this case looks to be an English professional animatronic creature designer named Chris Clarke."
(Via IEEE Spectrum)
(Animatronic robot baby)
Science fiction writer Henry Slesar envisioned this development many years ago, in his 1958 short story Robot Brother:
Feb 6, 1997:
This is a day twice-blessed for me. Today, at St. Luke's hospital, our first child was born to my wife, Ila... when I saw her this morning, I could not bring myself to mention the second birth that has taken place in my laboratory. The birth of Machine, my robot child...
As time goes on, little Mac, the robot baby, is developing beautifully:
At four months, Fitz is developing along normal lines. His little body has gone from asymmetric postures to symmetric postures, his eyes now converge and fasten on any dangling object held at mid-point.
As for Mac, he is developing even more rapidly. He is beginning to learn control of his limbs: it is apparent that he will walk before his human brother. Before long, he will learn to speak; already I hear the rumbles within the cavity of the soundbox in his chest.
(Read more about Slesar's robot baby)
Seen any other cute robot babies? Let me know.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/1/2012)