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Japanese Baby-Bot to Shed Light on Human Learning


Noby the baby-bot

Noby is 28 inches tall and weighs 17 pounds, similar to a nine-month-old human.

Credit: Agence France Presse

Japanese researchers have created a baby robot designed to simulate the behavior and development of a real infant in an effort to better understand how humans grow up. Named Noby, short for "nine-month-old baby," it has 600 sensors across its body to feel touch, cameras and microphones fitted into its head for vision and hearing, and is hooked up to a powerful computer.

Researchers are using Noby to test theories of human development, says Tokyo University professor Yasuo Kuniyoshi, who led development of Noby with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. "You can load your software into the robot, watch how it reacts to human actions and its surroundings, and compare it with the behaviour of real children," Kuniyoshi says.

From Agence France Presse
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