Well, this is definitely going to end well.
The abomination in the Japan Times video above is Alter, a robot that runs entirely off a neural network.
What does that mean? It means it creates its own movement patterns, without any human control, giving the impression that it is alive.
Alter’s neural sensors detect and react to proximity, temperature and humidity, in an attempt to approximate the way our own skin works.
Alter also ‘sings’, and the melodies, if you can call them that, are actually sine waves vocalising how Alter’s fingers move.
Alter was created by two robotics laboratories in Tokyo and Osaka. Osaka University’s Kouhei Ogawa, who has worked on previous humanoid robots, said the goal this time wasn’t to make a robot that looked human, but rather, one that felt human.
“This time, Alter doesn’t look like a human,” Ogawa told Engadget. “It doesn’t really move like a human. However, it certainly has a presence.”
Well, there’s no denying that.
Alter will be on show at Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation until the end of the week, but once you’ve seen the video, it will live in your nightmares forever.