In the modern age, research and science fiction often collide. But a project going down in Devon right now sounds like it wouldn’t be out of place in a horror movie.
The so-called iCub is a baby robot that will be used to study human learning, eventually being taught to talk.
Cute? Err, no, not really. With its blank shop-dummy face, rolling eyes and pneumatic limbs, the sight of this thing toddling towards you cooing Mama is likely to put the hairs on the back of your neck on end.
But, in spite of its creepy appearance, the iCub is a state-of-the-art piece of technology, with sophisticated artificial intelligence. If research goes well, it will provide the basis for a whole generation of thinking, talking, learning humanoid robots.
We just hope they make them look a bit more human...
(Image: from Alicia Yeah’s Flickr stream)