Developments in the robotics industry have led engineers, researchers and innovators to come up with hundreds of different types of robots, both humanoid and non-humanoid, that can perform thousands of different acts. While some can dance and others can help deliver cargo supplies to military forces behind enemy lines, others can act as if they have a life of their own. Meka Robotics' S2 Humanoid Head is one of these developments that could one day authentically express emotions between humans and robots, according to Extreme Tech.
Meka Robotics is a San Francisco-based company that specializes in creating humanoid machines that can work around people. The company has been developing robots for about four years and recently released its S2 Humanoid Head.
The head itself has a mobility range of seven degrees, which allow it to perform the fluid motions that can mimic those of a human. The machine also has two high-resolution cameras for eyes and has moveable ears that help express its mood by making it look happier or sadder, according to Aaron Edsinger, the founder of Meka Robotics.
The robot currently belongs to a professor at the University of Texas in Austin who is studying how the machine can be controlled using torque. Additionally, the professor wanted the human head to look like an anime-looking, young, female character with red hair and green eyes.
Meka Robotics also created an arm and a torso which can be connected to the head. These elements of the robot are particularly unique because they move with fluid motions. Every joint can sense when force is being applied to it and can react accordingly. The arm's movements are soft and make it look and feel more like a human, compared to traditional stiff movements of robots, according to Edsinger.
The humanoid head, along with a torso and arms, cost upwards of $300,000, Extreme tech noted.
Although this robot looks and moves similar to a human, it cannot talk. However, at the Pasadena City College, advancements in robotics have led to a machine that can detect the 800 most common errors that English-speakers make and be able to correct them and teach them how to speak properly, according to the Pasadena Star News.
If these two innovations were to combine, life-like robots that can speak may be the next step in robotics.