On humanoid robots, appearance and the uncanny valley
The Uncanny valleyHow realistic should they be made? If they become more realistic, are we as humans happier with them? An interesting aspect to this is the so called Uncanny valley – proposed by Professor Masahiro Mori in 1970. He suggested that we do indeed like these devices more as they become more human life-like, until they become too lifelike when we start to dislike them, before becoming more acceptable. This is illustrated in the figure below, which shows the reaction to a moving humanoid robot and a stuffed animal as they become more lifelike.
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Figure 1: Line graph displaying the theory of the ‘Uncanny Valley’ (Click to expand) © University of Reading
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