An interactive robot called Jia Jia amazed people during a presentation, because she was so incredibly like an adult human female. The robot, designed and created by a team of scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, capital of Anhui Province, showed their achievement at the university’s multi-media centre.
The most common comments from members of the audience were how very much like a real woman Jia Jia looks, and how eerily human-like her facial expressions are.
The eye-catching robot welcomed the audience with “Hello everyone, I’m Jia Jia. Welcome!”
When Jia Jia talks and shifts her gaze directly towards you by moving here eyes, there is a sensation of wonderment mixed with fear, because you know she is not human, but for a split second you feel she is. (Image: USTC)
As keen artificial intelligence & robotics enthusiasts and members of the media approached Jia Jia to take photographs, she said:
“Don’t come too close to me when you are taking a picture. It will make my face look fat.”
Three years to make this amazing robot
The robot research and development team at USTC (University of Science and Technology of China) that developed Jia Jia, also created the model service robot Kejia.
They say it took them three years to research and develop Jia Jia – a new-generation interactive robot that can move its lips, move its body, show micro-expressions, and speak.
In the left image she is looking ahead, then her gaze drifts to her left in the second picture, in such an incredibly human way. (Images: YouTube)
Team Leader, Chen Xiaoping, explained that this new robot can roll its eyeballs naturally, its speech is precisely synchronized to lip movements, and it also has an amazingly human-like form.
Dr. Xiaoping said further research and trials are required before Jia Jia can laugh or cry like a human.
Will interact more deeply with humans
In an interview with China’s Xinhua new agency, Dr. Xiaoping said:
“We hope to develop the robot so it has deep learning abilities. We will add facial expression recognition and make it interact more deeply with people.”
— Babe Robots (@BabeRobots) April 17, 2016
The scientists believe that Jia Jia will continue evolving until she becomes a wise ‘robot goddess’.
The team says that at this point their aim is to continue developing and improving their interactive robot, and have no plans for mass production.
The robot will be on show from 21 to 23 April at the 2016 China (Shanghai) International Technology Fair.
Video – Jia Jia Interactive Robot
In this video you can listen to the robot’s voice, see how its lips are in synch to what is being uttered, and some amazing facial and eye movements.