MIT Media Lab Personal Robotics Group have built a robot named Nexi that is able to move it’s hands and emote by conveying simple facial expressions. The robot falls under the MDS program which stands for Mobile/Dexterous/Social. The program is headed by roboticist Cynthia Breazeal. The small frail looking arms are capable of holding up to 10 pounds and the robot is able to move around vis-a-vis a pair of Segway-like self balancing wheels. The color camera in one of it’s eyes combined with the IR system in it’s forehead allows Nexi of mapping out it’s environment to better navigate the surrounding environment.
The eventual goal of the program is to help support the study of human-robot interfacing, teaming and social learning.
If you were to ask me, I would have to say that it’s all about the eyebrows. Even with the eyebrows it is pretty creepy.