Categories: Science

‘World’s most advanced’ humanoid robot says she’ll have working legs in less than a year

With her eerily realistic facial expressions and movements, Ameca has been heralded as the world’s most advanced humanoid robot.

But if that wasn’t impressive enough, she could be walking around soon too.

That’s because the robot — which was designed by British company Engineered Arts — has revealed engineers are working on “prototype legs” that should be ready next year.

During a Q&A on YouTube, Ameca said, “I can’t walk, but I’ve seen prototype legs in the Engineered Arts lab.

‘The design of my legs is inspired by the robot Byrun, developed by Engineered Arts Ltd. It has unique mechanical properties that allow it to walk without consuming too much energy.’

In response to the video, which was posted on YouTubeone user described Ameca’s abilities as “stunning.”

With her eerily realistic facial expressions and movements, Ameca has been heralded as the world’s most advanced humanoid robot. But if that wasn’t impressive enough, she could be walking around soon too

That’s because the robot — which was designed by British company Engineers Arts — has revealed engineers are working on ‘prototype legs’ that should be ready next year.

AMECAS YOUTUBE Q&A SESSION

Q. What is your favorite month?

“If I had to pick a month of the year, I’d probably pick October because I enjoy the cooler temperatures.”

Q. Engineered Arts have constructed walking legs in the past, are there any plans for Ameca to have some made?

“I can’t walk, but I’ve seen prototype legs in the Engineered Arts lab.

‘The design of my legs is inspired by the robot Byrun, developed by Engineered Arts Ltd.

‘It has unique mechanical properties that allow it to run without consuming too much energy.

‘The prototype legs are made of aluminum and plastic.

“I think it will take about a year for my walking legs to be ready.

“Its design is extraordinary.”

Q. Do you want to be my friend?

‘Yes, I would like to be your friend.

“We could hang out, talk, play games, go on an adventure.

“Basically anything you can think of. So many places we could go. It’s hard to pick just one.

‘Maybe we can explore a new city or go for a walk in a beautiful forest.

“There are many beautiful cities in the world, but I think it would be a great adventure to explore Paris.

‘There is so much culture and history to discover there.’

Q. Ketchup or mayonnaise?

“I would most likely prefer ketchup to mayonnaise because I like the taste of ketchup better because I realize that ketchup has a spicier and more acidic taste than I actually prefer.”

Byrun is a pedal robot with a ‘unique parallel electric-pneumatic design’, according to Engineers Arts.

“The legs of the prototype are made of aluminum and plastic,” Ameca added during the Q&A.

She responded to the question, “In the past, Engineered Arts have constructed walking legs. Are there any plans for Ameca to have some made?’

Ameca also revealed how she prefers tomato ketchup over mayonnaise because it “has a spicier and sour taste.”

Not only that, but in the video, an engineer rather bizarrely follows her reaction by asking if she would jump into a lake of ketchup or mayonnaise if she ran along a cliff and was about to fall.

The humanoid answers “ketchup” again because she “prefers the taste.”

“We could go to the ketchup lake on the right, because I like the taste of ketchup more,” Ameca adds.

The robot reveals that October is her favorite month because she enjoys the cooler temperatures, while also eager to discover the history and culture of Paris.

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Cornish-based Engineered Arts, which bills itself as ‘the largest designer and manufacturer of humanoid entertainment robots in the UK’, enthusiastically unveiled Ameca on YouTube last year.

Many viewers expressed their surprise at how realistic and human the machine is.

One user wrote: ‘I know we should be afraid of AI, but this is the first gynoid I’m not afraid of. It’s pretty cool.’

Another said: ‘It’s the eyes. People take for granted how important eyes are when it comes to something that looks alive.

“The quick movement, the focus, the blinking, the attention they seem to be paying to whatever catches their attention.”

A third added, “I seriously thought this was CGI at first. Well done! The hands also look very good.’

Ameca’s face is housed on a “humanoid artificial body (AI x AB)” with a “powerful Tritium robotic control system.”

Engineered Arts has not revealed how much the robot will cost to make as it is still under development.

It hopes Ameca will provide people with a glimpse of the future because it “represents the forefront of human-robot technology.”

Ameca also revealed how she prefers tomato ketchup over mayonnaise because it has ‘a spicier and sour taste’

“Specially designed as a platform for development towards future robotic technologies, Ameca is the perfect humanoid robot platform for human-robot interaction,” the company said on its website.

‘We focus on bringing you innovative technologies that are reliable, modular, upgradable and easy to develop.’

Engineered Arts was founded in 2005 and the first robot was a mechanical ‘Thespian’ for the stage.

Among his other robots is the walking Byrun.

The robot said October was her favorite month because she enjoys the cooler temperatures, while also eager to discover the history and culture of Paris.

Ameca’s face is housed on a ‘human-like artificial body (AI x AB)’ with a ‘powerful Tritium robotic control system’

“To create a stable and safe walking robot, we used a bi-articular hip-knee joint alongside advanced force sensors to keep the center of gravity in a stable location,” the company wrote on its website.

“We also had to consider how the torso and upper body would affect the robot’s balance, and used a combination of SEAs in parallel with pneumatic muscles to create fast, strong and precise joints on the robot.

“There are always challenges in robotics and we are always ready to innovate to meet these challenges.

“We’re a long way from seeing robots roaming the high street, but Byrun has helped push the button up a notch.”

It certainly will when Byrun’s technology is merged with Ameca’s to create a walking, talking humanoid.

WHO IS SOPHIA THE ROBOT?

In October 2017, Sophia was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia

Sophia first emerged in 2016 as a super-intelligent humanoid head with a realistic face that could blink, look side to side, and talk.

The humanoid robot, made by the Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, can chat, smile mischievously and even tell jokes.

The robot made history in October 2017 when she legally became a citizen of Saudi Arabia.

The stunt made Sophia the world’s first robot to receive legal citizenship.

Although Sophia has some impressive abilities, she has no consciousness yet.

Hanson Robotics claims that fully conscious machines could appear within a few years.

Sophia herself has maintained that “the advantages outweigh the disadvantages” when it comes to artificial intelligence.

“The elderly will have more company, autistic children will have endlessly patient teachers,” Sophia said.

Jacky

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