A U.K. robotics firm called Engineered Arts just debuted the first videos of its new humanoid robot, which is able to make hyper-realistic facial expressions. It’s a pretty stunning achievement in the world of robotics; it just also happens to be absolutely terrifying.
Named Ameca, the robot’s face features eyes, cheeks, a mouth, and forehead that contort and change shape to show off emotions ranging from awe to surprise to happiness. One of the new videos of Ameca shows it waking up and seemingly coming to grips with its own existence for the first time ever.
Ameca, which its creators call “the world’s most advanced human shaped robot,” is designed to help scientists and engineers study and improve human-robot interactions. Reading facial cues is a critical part of how humans connect with each other, and it’s thought that humanoid robots tasked with working in settings like healthcare and hospitality would be more readily embraced if they could look and communicate like humans. The company plans to show off more of Ameca at CES 2022 in Las Vegas in January.
Though it looks and stands like a human and can move its arms, Ameca doesn’t know how to walk yet. Engineered Arts plans to change that as soon as it can. It might just be a matter of time before you find Ameca walking down the street one day, waving and making uncomfortable eye contact with you.