Videos of Engineered Arts’ most recent innovation, a gray-skinned bot dubbed Ameca, engaging in an encounter with researchers last year went viral. The robot has a bare metal torso and remarkably lifelike facial expressions.
This year, the robot humanoid is back and better than ever. But, this time, it provided some of the most expressive faces we’ve seen. In the new footage, the Ameca humanoid experiments with 12 new motors while gazing into a mirror and bending its face into expressions of astonishment, disgust, misery, and even grief.
In addition, Engineered Arts took the opportunity to make fun of Tesla’s ill-fated effort to create a humanoid robot. In the video, a worker can be seen watching a clip of the EV company’s decision to replace an actual humanoid robot with a dancer wearing a stretchy outfit.
In another video, Ameca scowls as a worker off-screen reaches out to brush its snout before stopping his arm in an electric motor whirl. The activity is terrifying because it is unbelievable that a robot would want to build this barrier between itself and us—a desire that is, ironically, so human.
These feelings—curiosity, fear, and excitement—are what Engineered Arts thrives on. They’re designed to be used by academics for research and marketing teams for publicity gimmicks, and they’re put in tourist-welcoming locations like museums, airports, and shopping centers.
However these robots are more than just performers; they are heralds of the future. Therefore, the topic of how we react to such machines will become more critical as technology advances and androids become more realistic.
The robot has so far appeared on several different occasions. Engineered Arts even displayed their work at CES in Las Vegas in January.
“We’ve all seen it in the movies, we’ve all seen ‘I, Robot’ and ‘AI Artificial Intelligence,'” Morgan Roe, Engineered Arts’ director of operations, said at the time.
“And suddenly, that’s real.”