We all know that robots are going to destroy us, right? We may quibble about how it’s going to happen (I personally assume they’ll somehow team up with zombies.), but basically it’s a given. But until now, they’ve been the missing the one thing they needed before they embark on the complete destruction of civilization and round us all up into “meat camps.” The ability to laugh at our pathetic attempts to defend ourselves.
Well, Japan’s fixed that by developing a robot, the Geminoid TMF, that can laugh, smile and mimic facial human expressions by copying the facial movements of a video tape of a human subject. Now, the robot is just replicating the physical movements, so it’ll just be repeating rote facial movements, which is even worse. After all, it means that all robots like this will respond in exactly the same way – which combines the disturbing qualities of the uncanny valley to the creepiness of eerily similar identical twins. (Think of The Polar Express mixed with the little girls in The Shining.)
Oh, and don’t expect to buy one for yourself – the thing’ll cost 10 million Yen ($110,000) and they’re planning to sell them to robot research labs. Then again, I don’t think any of us wants to meet anyone who’d buy this for “private use.”
Creepy video after the jump!