Stunning video of a hyper-realistic “humanoid” robot that looks like it stepped straight out of a science fiction movie circulated the internet this week.
Engineered Arts, which describes itself as the UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of humanoid entertainment robots, created the uncanny valley robot, dubbed “Ameca,” and released a video showing the robot’s capabilities on Wednesday.
In the video, a robot with a striking resemblance to human beings appears to wake up from a deep sleep. It takes a deep breath and looks in an apparent daze at first, observing its hands and surroundings as though it is seeing them for the first time. The robot then turns to the camera and reaches out one hand while smiling.
“Ameca is the world’s most advanced human shaped robot representing the forefront of human-robotics technology,” the company’s website stated. “Designed specifically as a platform for development into future robotics technologies, Ameca is the perfect humanoid robot platform for human-robot interaction.”
According to their website, Engineered Arts believes “human-like artificial intelligence needs a human-like artificial body.”
“Artificial intelligence and machine learning systems can be tested and developed on Ameca alongside our powerful Tritium robot operating system,” the website continued.
Available for purchase or event rental, Engineered Arts characterized Ameca as a “great attraction” that buyers can use to “wow [their] customers or visitors at an event or visitor attraction.”
“Reliability is key, and all our robots are built to last in action in the real world, not just in the lab,” the company said. “The modular architecture allows for future upgrades, both physically and software to enhance Ameca’s abilities, all without having to fork out for an entire new robot.”
The reaction on social media was mixed, with many expressing discomfort at the sight of Ameca.
“Nope,” tweeted author Michael Harriot. “This is how it starts.”
“This is incredible, but also slightly terrifying,” another Twitter user wrote.
“Dilbert” creator Scott Adams quipped that he “can’t wait to port my mind into one of these robots so I can live forever.”
In an apparent nod to the robot’s hyperrealism, self-described content creator Safwan AhmedMia questioned how far the human-robot similarities will go.
“How long before robots are indistinguishable from humans when walking past one in the street?” he tweeted.
Ameca isn’t the first robot released this year that has caused unease.
Earlier this year, Amazon unveiled a new home robot named Astro, equipped with a microphone and camera and capable of moving on its own from room to room in a user’s house.
Astro has a rotating screen that’s mounted on a base with wheels, allowing the small robot to move around on its own. The robot was designed to appear animated and friendly, with eyes and expressions similar to the popular animated Disney movie character Wall-E.