It's Hard to Believe This Isn't a Real Person

The subject of this video is not real. It is a hyper-realistic, digital human head created by Australian designer Chris Jones, who calls his creation Mr. Head – or "Ed," for short. » 10/02/14 3:00pm 10/02/14 3:00pm

What Do Sex Dolls And Cell Phones Have In Common?

Julie Beck's latest feature for The Atlantic is chock-full of all the salacious factoids one expects from an article titled "A (Straight, Male) History of Sex Dolls." » 8/06/14 12:15pm 8/06/14 12:15pm

Is the "uncanny valley" a myth?

The "uncanny valley" is that creepy Final Fantasy feeling when a robot or CGI character is too dead-eyed to be believable, but too realistic to be cute. Roboticists and animators have long tried to avoid creations that induce this psychological state. But maybe they've been worried about nothing. » 9/03/13 7:30am 9/03/13 7:30am

Would you copy your mind to a robotic body-double?

A central theme of the recently concluded GF2045 Congress was the idea of achieving a kind of immortality by transferring our minds to avatars or robots. Indeed, as Japanese professor Hiroshi Ishiguro’s presentation clearly showed, our robotic doppelgangers will truly be made to look and act like the real thing. » 6/18/13 9:40am 6/18/13 9:40am

A clothing store mannequin that imitates your movements

We're not entirely sure if United Arrows' new MarionetteBot makes mannequins more or less creepy, but it's certainly attracting attention. To make it work, the popular Japanese clothing chain equipped a mannequin with a series of motors and 16 wires that are guided by a Kinect. By standing and moving in front of the… » 2/19/13 9:30am 2/19/13 9:30am

New video of Machine Perception Lab's creepy robot baby shows that it…

We've known about Machine Perception Lab's super-realistic robot baby for quite some time now, but we've never actually seen it in action — at least until now. As this new video shows, roboticists appear to be getting perilously close to crossing the uncanny valley — while scaring the crap out of the good children… » 1/08/13 3:00pm 1/08/13 3:00pm

Need a creepy Halloween costume? Wear a 3D-printed mask of your own face

This Halloween, do you harbor the sociopathic desire to convey to everyone you know and appreciate — once and for all — that you truly are a walking nightmare? If so, why not make an unnerving 3D mask of your own face? » 10/19/12 9:55am 10/19/12 9:55am

This is some of the most incredible facial modeling we've ever seen —…

This is really, really, really impressive. The folks at Disney Research Zurich have just unveiled what they call a "new physical face cloning method" that allows them to fabricate an artificial human face (for use with an animatronics model) at mind-blowing levels of detail. The modeling methods are incredibly… » 8/15/12 8:55am 8/15/12 8:55am

Robot attempts to grimace its way out of uncanny valley, doesn't quite…

You've got to hand it to Nicole Lazzeri and her colleagues at the University of Pisa for creating the robot you see here. Its facial features are some of the most dynamic and convincing we've seen yet — but something's still a little off. » 7/13/12 11:30am 7/13/12 11:30am

These robotic butt-cheeks respond to slaps, caresses, and pokes

There is a chance (a small chance, but a chance, nonetheless) that one day in the distant future, the sun will set on the world of humans and rise over a world ruled by machines. When that day comes, and our automaton overlords tower over us, inquiring why those few who survived the great robot uprising should not… » 5/10/12 4:40pm 5/10/12 4:40pm

Uncanny Valley masks transform you into a beautiful nightmare

Designer Meike Harde has printed out a series of two-dimensional masks of attractive human features that — when skewed by the contours of the actual face — become positively repellent. The flawless (albeit substitute) eyes and lips meld with the exposed skin, and these perfect traits become imperfect and downright… » 4/16/12 8:40am 4/16/12 8:40am

Scientists still aren't sure why the "uncanny valley" freaks you the…

When Pixar screened a computer-animated short film called "Tin Toy" in 1988, test audiences hated the sight of the pseudo-realistic baby named "Billy" who terrorized the toys. Such a strong reaction persuaded Pixar to avoid making uncannily realistic human characters - it has since focused its efforts on films about… » 4/05/12 1:26pm 4/05/12 1:26pm

Japanese android condemned to be forever alone for Valentine's Day

Should you visit Tokyo's Takashimaya department store by Valentine's Day, you can greet Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro's Geminoid-F android, who's engaged in a curiously forlorn bit of street theater. » 2/02/12 10:00am 2/02/12 10:00am

This robotic baby crawled out of your nightmares

Robot babies are generally all sorts of uncomfortable, but this animatronic tot takes the tungsten-exoskeletoned cake. YouTuber Kitanimboy, who has quite the experience building robotic children for Torchwood and ad campaigns, has recently unveiled this strange cyber-baby skeleton. He won't reveal what job it's for,… » 1/21/12 12:45pm 1/21/12 12:45pm

High-tech robotic head owes a debt to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

Projection people aren't an entirely new phenomenon, but this Mask-bot — a new yammering robo-visage from German and Japanese researchers — was built to give robots emotive faces and to replace conference calls with talking heads. » 11/07/11 12:00pm 11/07/11 12:00pm

Japanese androids herald our glorious androgynous future

Remember the Actroid-F, the sympathetic robot built to console you as you pass on to the great beyond? Researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tokyo have created a male counterpart to the Actroid-F, whose upgrades include camera-eyes and a new hairdo. » 10/23/11 9:30am 10/23/11 9:30am

Taiwanese singing robot head is a melodious abomination

Professor Chyi-Yeu Lin of the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology has experimented with robot heads before (here's a few of them), and now his team has built a robot that can read music and emote according to the song's lyrics. Too bad this head looks like the Bride of Johnny Cab. » 8/15/11 10:20am 8/15/11 10:20am

Japanese pop group builds a new computerized idol out of its members'…

The Japanese pop scene has experimented with both hologram stars and up-and-coming robotic idols. Now the producers of the girl mega-group ABK48 have gone and created a synthetic member, Eguchi Aimi, out of the facial features of the existing starlets. » 6/21/11 4:15pm 6/21/11 4:15pm

Geminoid meet-up proves that android doppelgangers aren't the life of…

Last month, Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University, Henrik Sharfe of Aalborg University, and an unnamed female participant hauled their Geminoid doppelgangers together for the world's most awkward coffee klatch or, to quote Dr. Sharfe, "a crazy tea party." Indeed! » 4/09/11 11:00am 4/09/11 11:00am

Looker is the rare cheesy 1980s movie that got the future right

By now, most of us are resigned to the notion that the Future™ is not going to be everything we were promised by science fiction. We will not be getting our flying cars, wise-cracking robot butlers, immortality pills, or pleasure model replicants any time soon. But while we mourn for everything that science fiction… » 2/12/11 3:00pm 2/12/11 3:00pm