In December 2021, Engineered Arts, the UK’s “leading designer and manufacturer of humanoid entertainment robots,” introduced its robot Ameca to the internet. We, along with millions of other people, were astounded by Ameca’s ridiculously humanlike physicality and movement. Now, Engineered Arts has released a new video of Ameca. One in which the robot gets a little angry.
Engineered Arts recently posted the above video to its YouTube channel. The company notes in the video’s description that this is an interaction with Ameca in which somebody invades its “personal space” too much. Indeed, whoever is interacting with Ameca in the clip even goes so far as to boop its nose.
Unlike the Ameca video from last year, this one shows the robot reacting rather than just putting on a show. As the clip shows Ameca’s able to follow objects with its eyes. In this particular instance, a person’s fingertip flitting around like a butterfly. The person dances their fingertip around for a few seconds before closing it in on Ameca’s nose; compelling the robot to scrunch up its face as if irked. (The furrowed brow and pursed lips convey the bot’s emotion perfectly.)
While Engineered Arts’ robot has cutting-edge mechanical limbs and ligaments, actuators, and sensor arrays, it’s not going to T-1000 us all anytime soon. The robot maker says that Ameca doesn’t have anything like “Pure A.I.” (a.k.a. Artificial General Intelligence). The robot can, however, work as a chatbot in a very convincing body. And users can “talk through the robot” remotely if they wish.
“This is even starting to freak us out at Engineered Arts and we are used to it!” the company says in the video’s description. Which is a statement that gives us mad Ex Machina vibes. And another reason to never ever boop a robot’s nose.