- “Ameca” is a new humanoid robot that does not have natural hair and skin like Mesmer but could instead show human-like natural expressions.
- The firm said that Ameca is a “platform for developing AI” but let’s others develop the necessary machine learning algorithms.
Engineered Arts, the firm behind the human-like Mesmer robot series, is a new creation that may weird you out even more. “Ameca” is a new humanoid robot that does not have natural hair and skin like Mesmer but could instead show human-like, natural expressions than others we have seen, as The Verge has reported.
Ameca at first looks confused as it appears to wake up then shows mild astonishment when it moves its hands (the hand gestures look pretty accurate, too). It then seems surprised to see the viewer or camera finish the video with a smile and welcoming hand gesture.
The improvements in facial animation result from more fluid movements than we have seen before. By contrast, the Mesmer “Fred” robot had good head motion, but he “looks like he had a shot of Novocain in his lower face” when he talks, I wrote back in 2018.
It seems to have a fully articulated head, face, neck, hands, shoulders, arms, but Engineered Arts says that none of its robots can walk — though the company is studying that capability. It’s unclear how Ameca’s facial expressions were animated. The firm said that Ameca is a “platform for developing AI” but lets others develop the necessary machine learning algorithms.
Engineered Arts have said that it uses “powerful, silent, high-torque” motors to operate Mesmer’s body and head movements, with each thing designed from scratch to work together perfectly. It also uses cameras, depth sensors, LiDAR, and microphones. It has developed browser-based software that works many 3D apps used for VFX or gaming animation to control movements.
There’s no pricing or availability for Ameca or Mesmer, though the firm’s basic RoboThespian models cost $79,000. In any case, we will soon get a close-up look at Ameca, as Engineered Arts plans to display it at CES 2022 in Las Vegas.
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