Engineered Arts is at the forefront of robotics technology. While massive companies like Amazon and Tesla are entering the robot industry, Engineered Arts’ impressive Ameca robot is already far ahead of the competition.
In a video by CNET, a journalist was able to ask the robot a number of questions. However, the responses that Engineered Arts’ impressive piece of kit gave could be unnerving for some.
Can the Ameca robot feel?
During the video, the journalist was able to ask the robot a few questions. Not just robotic hardware, Engineered Arts’ machine also has access to artificial intelligence that allows it to answer questions and react to humans.
The CNET journalist asked Ameca’s creator if the robot was enjoying CES. He then asked the robot: “How are you finding Las Vegas and CES?” Surprisingly, the robot answered, but not in the most comfortable way.
“Well, as a robot, I actually don't feel anything at all,” Ameca sadly reminded the journalist. “However, if I did feel, I would be happy to be here”
In response to the video, viewers expressed sadness at the robot’s lack of feelings. One commenter said: “I thought it was cool until they said robots don't feel anything. It made me sad. Ameca looks like they would be a great friend.”
How Engineered Arts cracked the Uncanny Valley
During the interview, Engineered Arts was asked why people are more comfortable around the Ameca robot than other robots. The reason is surprising: instead of aiming for true realism, they made the robot’s more fake to make people more comfortable around them.
This makes sense. As we've reported in the past, the company does make “realistic robots”. Known as Mesmer, these robots have realistic skin textures unlike the Ameca’s obviously plastic face. As a result, it looks terrifying.
Engineered Arts said:
“What we found was, when you try to make it look ultra lifelike, like our other Mesmer line, it looks a bit more sinister because it's the uncanny valley. But actually, when we created Ameca, we pulled it out of the uncanny valley. Because it looks less human. Because it’s plastic, metal, and it has grey skin, people seem to react to that more positively. “