Nature This coming Saturday, a new plastic pal who's fun to be with, is going to be unveiled in Zurich, the BBC Magazine reports:
"Roboy's main technical innovation is a tendon-driven design that mimics the human muscular system. Instead of whirring motors in the joints like most robots, he has around 70 imitation muscles, each containing motors that wind interconnecting tendons. Consequently, his movements will be much smoother and less robotic."
But the really interesting idea is that they're not setting out to reproduce humanity.  Not yet.

As Roboy's parent-in-chief, Rolf Pfeifer says "One of the goals is for (it) to be a messenger of a new generation of robots that will interact with humans in a friendly way."

At the root of his design is a philosophy that our empathy for a robot increases the less human it looks.

For rather the same reasons as why the Audrey Hepburn digiquin looks awful in the Galaxy adverts, it's because they don't ever look quite right, "They remind us of corpses or zombies, they look unwell or they do not look and behave as expected".

In 1970, the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori calls this the "uncanny valley".

The article mentions this Hello Kitty robot which has the ability to recognise children individually and play games with them.

Does all of this mean we can have a K9 now? Please?

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