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Too believable emotions: the new humanoid robot scared everyone with its realism

Humanoid robot makes facial expressions frighteningly realistic. TheVerge.

Photo: Shutterstock

Engineered Arts, a UK-based developer and manufacturer of humanoid robots, recently showcased one of their most lifelike creations in a YouTube video.
A robot named Ameka is shown to make a series of incredibly human facial expressions.

AMECA opens her mouth and raises her eyebrows in amazement.

At the beginning of the video, Ameca seems to "wake up" as his face expresses a mixture of confusion and disappointment when he opens his eyes.

But when Ameca starts looking at his hands, the robot opens its mouth and raises its eyebrows in amazement.

At the end of the video, Ameca is seen smiling and holding out his hand to the viewer.

The internet was terrified by a robot with realistic characteristics, and many commented that it was only a matter of time before they would take over the world.

Ameca is a robot developed by British company Engineered Arts, which regularly posts robotic content to its social media platforms, but it was this clip, posted on their YouTube channel on December 1, that went viral with over 680 views.

In the video, Ameca can be seen dozing with his eyes closed and face downcast before he turns his shoulder and suddenly wakes up, opening his eyes, looking around the room.

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The robot then examines its hands and at the end of the video looks directly into the camera and grins (not creepy at all).

Everyone seemed equally fascinated and insecure, as the video racked up a staggering 20 million views, with the tweet receiving 285000 likes and over 100000 reposts in retweets and citing tweets at the time of writing.

Of course, many people weren't fans of Ameca and were worried about what the robot might mean to humans in the future.

While others did not understand why people were so intimidated by Ameca, noting that today similar technologies are used in other products, and people themselves are no less harmful to themselves.

Elsewhere, people argued whether the robot was computer generated or not.

Although, according to Engineered Arts, the robot is not a CGI and was developed as a "platform for artificial intelligence and human-robot interaction (HRI)" and also named "the most advanced humanoid robot" by their company.

There is good news for those worried about robots, as Ameca is currently unable to walk and can only move its upper body, but there are plans for the future to "improve its abilities over time" to get Ameca to walk.

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The Ameca doesn't walk, roll over, or do parkour like the Atlas robot from Boston Dynamics.

However, we likely won't see Ameca walking and talking anytime soon.

Engineered Arts reports that the robot is currently unable to walk, although at some point it wants to endow it with this ability.

As for whether Ameca uses AI, Engineered Arts explains that the capabilities of AI are at the discretion of the developers - it just handles super-realistic bodies.

If Ameca doesn't scare you enough, Engineered Arts has also developed another realistic bot called Mesmer.

The company says it used 3D scans of real people to give the robot accurate bone structure, skin texture and realistic facial expressions.

In a video posted just days after Ameca's presentation, Mesmer makes a series of facial expressions that look even more convincing given that this robot has more realistic skin and facial features than Ameca does at the moment.

Since Engineered Arts focuses on building humanoid robots for entertainment, Ameca and Mesmer are likely to be the center of attention at venues and events.

They are not robots designed to do a certain job or take over all of humanity.

If you want to see Ameca in real life, then it will be unveiled at CES 2022 in January.

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