Robot with human face presented in Skolkovo

Robotechnics from Perm presented their new development in Skolkovo. An android named Alex is an exact copy of one of its creators. It is highly intelligent, can communicate with people and even make jokes. 

The developers said that compared to an ordinary robot, the new android can easily win people’s trust. It is difficult to tell Alex from a live person as it wears something similar to human skin and can imitate 29 muscles on a human face. The android has the same electronic base as Promobot V4 which, however, was slightly upgraded, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports. 

Experts say that Alex the robot can be used in entertainment. For example, it could wear superhero costumes and play with children. The development cost $1.5 mio and started in 2017. It is expected that the robot will be finished within 18 months. One robot will cost like a good foreign car (RUR 1 mio or $15,600). 

During the presentation, the developers demonstrated the robot, dressed in a white and blue t-shirt, sitting at a table. It moved its head and demonstrated different facial expressions. The robot that blinks and opens its mouth looks like a real person from afar. In close-up, the robot’s similarity to a human becomes terrifying. Scientists call this an “uncanny valley” effect when the robot that resembles a human too much can evoke resentment and even terror in the people who work with it. 

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