Japanese researchers at Osaka University's Hosoda lab have developed two baby robots designed to help researchers learn more about the development of motor skills in babies. The Pneuborn robots have been named Pneuborn-7II and Pneuborn-13 after their respective "ages" of seven and 13 months.
Penuborn 7-II has been taught to crawl and is designed to study motor development and embodiment and their relationship. Pneuborn-13 has been taught to walk and was created to study the how the musculoskeletal structure effects a baby's ability to begin walking.
Despite the potential wealth of knowledge to be gleaned from the Pneuborn Robots, I still find them incredibly creepy. Just the sight of an autonomous robot designed to look like a baby gives me the creeps. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if other researchers started creating more baby robots if this study turns out to provide a wealth of information. Baby robots are on the rise, remember where you heard it first.
Japanese Researchers Develop 'Pneuborn' Robots to Study Babies
Michael Hines — May 17, 2011 — Tech
References: plasticpals & laughingsquid