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Straight Outta Black Mirror: Human-like 'Ameca' Robot is Freaking Everyone Out

Robot engineers at Cornwall-based Engineered Arts unveil a remarkably human-like android, Ameca. Credits: Reuters/YouTube.

Robot engineers at Cornwall-based Engineered Arts unveil a remarkably human-like android, Ameca. Credits: Reuters/YouTube.

Is Ameca robot's invention a technical marvel or is it just creepy? For most of the Internet, the consensus is the second.

Do androids dream of electric sheep? We don’t know - but they look terrifying (and terrifyingly human-like) once they wake up. Engineered Arts, a U.K.-based robotics company, has created a humanoid robot named Ameca, which has everyone convinced it’s a Black Mirror episode come to life. In a video shared by Engineered Arts, Ameca, ‘wakes up’ followed by making a series of incredibly human-like facial expressions. Much like humans who wake up disoriented, Ameca’s facial expression is a mix of confusion and frustration when it opens its eyes - and then Ameca looks at its own hands, arms and becomes self-aware, then raises its brows. It ends with Ameca extending an arm out towards the viewer, while smiling.

According to the Engineered Arts UK page, it describes Ameca as “Ameca is the world’s most advanced human shaped robot representing the forefront of human-robotics technology. Designed specifically as a platform for development into future robotics technologies, Ameca is the perfect humanoid robot platform for human-robot interaction. Human-like artificial intelligence needs a human-like artificial body (AI x AB). Artificial intelligence and machine learning systems can be tested and developed on Ameca alongside our powerful Tritium robot operating system. The Ameca hardware is a development based on our own research into humanoid robotics and built on our advanced Mesmer technology."

It also adds a (somewhat creepy) fact: “Reliability is key, and all our robots are built to last in action in the real world, not just in the lab. The modular architecture allows for future upgrades, both physically and software to enhance Ameca’s abilities, all without having to fork out for an entire new robot." Sounds a little like the Terminator scenario? But is Ameca’s invention a technical marvel or is it just creepy? For most of the Internet, the consensus is the second.

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The Engineered Arts UK adds that Ameca is “available for purchase or event rental." But is it doing to be a Terminator scenario? At the moment, Ameca can’t walk. “Not yet. There are many hurdles to overcome before Ameca can walk. Walking is a difficult task for a robot, and although we have done research into it, we have not created a full walking humanoid. However, Ameca is a modular robot, we plan on upgrading its abilities over time so one day Ameca will walk," explains the website.

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first published:December 06, 2021, 08:38 IST