Whether it’s the BigDog military quadruped robot or an anthropomorphic robot with the ability to sweat, “All of them are disturbing to watch,” and this article documents what Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori calls “the uncanny valley,” or why near-lifelike creatures can seem real but unhealthy and even genetically unfit.
“The Uncanny Valley effect is most often evoked by the face, which is why it may not be a good idea for sex dolls to look too lifelike, and why people look scary after too much plastic surgery….”
But interestingly enough, the BigDog robot doesn’t have a face! In this case its the legs which are so realistic, they create the impression that the robot is alive. But whether it’s the robot that climbs vertical walls or the locomotion robot shaped like a giant black cockroach, it’s the “Uncanny Valley” which explains why people see a robot and say:
“I swear I’m gonna have nightmares about that thing…”
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