China creates interactive human-like robot
Jia Jia bears the appearance of a female adult and possesses many human facial features, such as blinking, as well as realistic facial expressions and hair that closely resembles human hair.
Researchers created Jia Jia in an attempt to mimic a human in as many ways as possible. “Her” mouth is designed to correspond with the statements that she makes and her eyes casually scan her surroundings much like a real human.
Even more amazing, Jia Jia can process events around her to a certain degree, one example being asking for space if someone gets too close to her to take a picture.
“Don’t come too close to me when you are taking a picture, it will make my face look fat,” she says.
Although Jia Jia will not likely be mass produced anytime soon, Chen Xiaoping, who led the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) research team that created the robot, claims they are hard at work improving Jia Jia’s functionality and will continue to do so in the coming months and years.
Although Jia Jia cannot yet cry or laugh, she possesses many improvements over previous interactive robots such as naturally rolling eyeballs, speech that syncs with lip movements and a very human-like form.
“We hope to develop the robot so it has deep learning abilities,” Chen said. “We will add facial expression recognition and make it interact more deeply with people.”
Jia Jia is already receiving more positive attention than the other recent interactive robot, the Mark I, which was modeled after Scarlett Johansson by inventor Ricky Ma. Many regarded the Mark I as creepy, although Ma admits it was designed as a prototype to sell off for funds to create better robots.